Metastatic breast cancer is one of the most advanced stages of breast cancer. Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast start dividing uncontrollably. A tumor begins forming, a collection or mass of these abnormal cells.
Metastasis refers to the cancer cells that have spread to a new body area. In metastatic breast cancer, cells may apply to the following:
Healthcare providers name cancer based on its primary origin. It means that breast cancer that also spreads to other body parts will still be known as breast cancer. The cancer cells are, however, breast cells. The care team will usebreast cancertherapies, even if the cancer cells are in different areas.
SYMPTOMS OF METASTATIC BREAST CANCER
The symptoms of breast cancer depend on where the cells are included:
SYMPTOMS OF BONE METASTASES
Bones that fracture or break more easily
SYMPTOMS OF BRAIN METASTASES
Personality or behavior changes
Vomiting and nausea
Pressure in the head or worsening headaches
SYMPTOMS OF LIVER METASTASES
Vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and stomach pain
Rash or itchy skin
SYMPTOMS OF LUNG METASTASES
Difficulty in catching breath
Cough that won’t go away
OTHER SYMPTOMS OF METASTATIC BREAST CANCER:
Unexplained weight loss
EMERGING TREATMENTS FOR METASTATIC BREAST CANCER
The two significant new treatments for advanced breast cancer includes antibody-drug conjugates and CDK4/6 inhibitors.
Antibody-drug conjugates help treat a different subtype known as HER2-positive breast cancer. Instead of being fueled by hormones, breast cancer growth comes from a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.
CDK4/6 inhibitors help treat a subtype known as hormone receptor-positive breast cancer; in this type of breast cancer, the hormone progesterone and estrogen help fuel the growth of breast cancer cells. The subtype of breast cancer is traditionally treated with anti-estrogen therapies, which block the hormone from fueling the cancer cells.
Metastatic breast cancer is advanced breast cancer. Providers classify it as stage 4 breast cancer. It happens when the cancer cells are often left behind after the previous breast cancer treatment, starting to spread to the other body parts. While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, treatment may help you feel better and prolong your life.
Many medications are available, so your care team may try a different approach if one treatment is not working.
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