The word 'metastatic' means the spread of cancer from where it started to other parts of the body. Metastatic is also called advanced cancer, because it is stage 4 cancer. This is a type of breast cancer, which apart from the breast, spreads to other parts of the body as well. Jaundice or swelling in the stomach are some of its symptoms. It can be treated with medicines or hormone therapy and its progression can be stopped.In this article you will learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of metastatic cancer -

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  1. Why Does Metastatic Breast Cancer Occur?
  2. Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer
  3. Diagnosis Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
  4. Treatment Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
  5. Summary
Doctors for Personal Stories: Navigating Life with Metastatic Breast Cancer

In this type of cancer, cancer cells first originate in the breast and then spread to other parts of the body. According to which part it has spread, it can be called local, regional or distant cancer.

Localized metastatic cancer means that breast cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. If it spreads to the lungs, skin, liver, bones and brain, then it is called distant. Swelling in hands and feet, headache are some of its symptoms.

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Its symptoms may be different from level 1 cancer, which are as follows -

  • Pain or fracture in bones due to tumor cells reaching the bones.
  • Headache or dizziness. This means that cancer cells have reached the brain.
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain after reaching the lungs.
  • Jaundice or swelling of the stomach.
  • If the breast or chest wall is affected, there may be chest pain, discharge from the nipple and a feeling of some thickness in the breast.
  • If cancer affects the liver, symptoms like fatigue, swelling in the legs, swelling in the hands, yellowing of the skin and nausea may be seen.
  • If cancer cells reach the central nervous system, memory loss, headache, and blurred vision may occur.

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Some tests are done to detect this cancer, which are as follows -

  • Ultrasound - Through ultrasound technology, images of the internal parts of the body can be seen through sound waves.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images.
  • Blood Chemistry Studies – In this technique, a blood sample is taken to identify the discharge produced by the organ or tissue. The substance found in it could be a symptom of a disease.
  • Breast Biopsy – In breast biopsy, the doctor removes cells or tissue and then examines them. This biopsy is examined through a microscope and it is confirmed whether there is cancer or not.

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Metastatic breast cancer is treated to shrink the tumor and slow its growth. While treating this cancer, if any therapy stops working or more side effects start appearing, then in that case the treatment can also be changed. Most patients may have to undergo different types of treatment. Let us know in detail about the treatment of metastatic cancer -

Hormone Therapy

In hormone therapy, estrogen and progesterone are stopped. Some breast cancers have receptors that stick to these hormones and then spread. In such a situation, the speed of cancer can be reduced by blocking hormones. It also has some side effects, which include vaginal dryness and hot flashes.

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Chemotherapy includes different types of drugs, out of which it is important to find the right drug for breast cancer. One cycle is made and given in a few weeks. Some patients are able to tolerate it, while some are not. Its side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, hair fall, diarrhea, fatigue and mouth ulcers etc.

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Targeted drug therapy is a new type of treatment, in which certain types of proteins and gene mutations that help cancer grow are blocked. These are also known as inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Sometimes it is also given in combination with chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Different side effects can be seen with different drugs.

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In immunotherapy, the immune system is stimulated by giving medicines, so that the breast cancer cells can be destroyed. These are also known as immune checkpoints inhibitors. Their side effects include fatigue, cough and loss of appetite and autoimmune diseases.

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Other Options

In some cases, surgery and radiation are also used. In some cases, clinical trials are also conducted to use new treatments, but new guidelines are included in it.

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Integrative Therapy

Generally, getting this treatment can be beneficial. This also helps in strengthening the mind and body. You may have to face stress and anxiety due to breast cancer. Therefore yoga, meditation, massage and music therapy can be used. These things can help you feel good. Apart from all these, the following types of therapy can also be used -

  • Pain management
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Naturopathic support
  • Mind body medicine
  • Spiritual support

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Metastatic breast cancer is stage 4 cancer, in which the cancer starts spreading to other parts of the body. It can be identified on the basis of local, regional and distant cancer. Pain or fracture in bones due to tumor cells reaching the bones is one of the serious symptoms of this disease. This disease is identified by MRI or biopsy. This disease can be treated by chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Integrated therapy can also be beneficial in its treatment. Other therapies that are given simultaneously include nutrition therapy and mind body medicine.

Dr. Akash Dhuru

Dr. Akash Dhuru

10 Years of Experience

Dr. Anil Heroor

Dr. Anil Heroor

22 Years of Experience

Dr. Kumar Gubbala

Dr. Kumar Gubbala

7 Years of Experience

Dr. Patil C N

Dr. Patil C N

11 Years of Experience

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