Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

The stage of breast cancer when cancer cells do not remain in the original cancer site and spread out to other parts of the body is called metastatic breast cancer. This is the stage when the cancer is fully advanced. Even if you have been successfully treated for breast cancer, there is a chance that some cancer cells do not die, and later spread out through blood and lymphatic vessels to other body organs. This process is known as metastasis of breast cancer.


Metastatic breast cancer can develop in two ways: It is possible that the treatment for the primary breast cancer is over, but some cancer cells that did not die start replicating and redeveloping into new cells, and spread out to other organs, or, it is possible that the treatment is ongoing, but cells still break out and spread to other organs. It is often the case that the diagnosis of metastatic disease is so late when the treatment is ongoing, that chances of survival become very thin.

Metastasis usually occurs in bones, and organs like lungs and brains. Unfortunately, breast cancer has the highest chance of metastasizing. If you have had breast cancer, and later develop another form of cancer, in all probability, it is breast cancer recurring. The fortunate side of this is that breast cancer is very much treatable. However, if you develop breast cancer again in the breast that was not diseased earlier, it might just be a new cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer develops in almost thirty out of hundred women who have had breast cancer, which makes knowledge about it so necessary. When the cancer has not metastasized to organs like the lungs and brain, or when there is a presence of estrogen and progesterone hormones in cancer tissues, the cancer is treatable. Also, if you have already not undergone many treatments for your previous cancer, and the malignant cells show some change after therapies, your treatment can be successful.

Metastatic breast cancer, owing to its nature, requires extensive treatment. Therapies like chemotherapy, hormonal treatment, immune therapy alone with regular mammograms, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans etc. are necessary. The treatments can be purpose-specific. For treating the whole body, systemic therapies have to be implemented; for treatment of specific organs, local treatments like mastectomy and lumpectomy are done, and for alleviating pain, therapies along with oral aspirin intake are adopted.

Metastatic breast cancer is the worst phase of your cancer, and you should know that scientists are working day and night to invent better methods for prolonging and normalizing your life. Because the prognosis is not usually determined, you have to decide when to end your treatment. Ending treating is necessary because a longer treatment comes with more and more side-effects. Consult as many people as you want, never hesitate to ask your doctor any question, any number of times, but in the end, it all comes down to you to make the decision.

By Roselyn Capen