What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer

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What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer?


The most frightening words imaginable for any woman are those when she is told that she has breast cancer. The morbid thoughts run through her head and the fear is overwhelming. Now she must endure medical treatments and examinations for several months as begins her battle against this disease.

Cancer is defined by four different stages and metastatic breast cancer is defined as stage 4 and it means that the cancer has spread beyond the breast and underarm lymph nodes to other part of the body. Another way to explain this is that the cancer cells have migrated and are now growing outside of the original tumor.

Women who have stage IV breast cancer usually receive chemotherapy and or hormonal therapy to destroy cancer cells and control the disease. They may have surgery or radiation therapy to control the cancer in the breast. Radiation may also be useful to control tumors in other parts of the body. The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer varies depend on where the cancer is and how large it is.

The most common places for breast cancer to spread are within the breast or to the nearby chest wall or to the liver, lungs, or bones. Common symptoms include a lump in your breast or on your chest wall, bone pain, or shortness of breath. It is also possible that you will not have any symptoms and that the only way to keep yourself healthy is to be proactive and to take an active role in your health care. It may be necessary to have continuous laboratory tests and x-rays to determine whether or not the cancer has spread.

Work with your doctors to plan your medical treatments and to be a partner in your health care. Your doctors will consider where the cancer is located and what type of cancer treatments you had in the past. Your wishes and quality of life are also important factors.

Treatment choices may include surgery, medicines like chemotherapy or hormone therapy, and radiation. Sometimes a mix of these treatments is used and there can be side effects. Your doctor can tell you what problems to expect and can help you find ways to manage and live with them during the treatment phase.

There may come a time with metastatic breast cancer when you make a decision that quality of life is more important than quantity. If the medical treatments are not working and the effects of them are more devastating than the actual disease, you may have a choice to make.

Some people make the decision after talking to their family, friends and doctors to shift the focus of their treatments from attempting to cure the disease to staying comfortable and enjoying life. The care at this point is entirely focused on providing symptom relief as well as support for you and your family so that everyone can make the most of the time remaining.

The final choice for your care after you have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer if yours! And, you should make informed decision after talking to your doctors and family members. Medical advances in this area are moving forward every day and you never know when the cure will be found.

http://www.breastcanceranalysis.com/metastaticbreastcancer.html

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