Metastatic Breast Cancer – Are You Aware Enough?
Breast Cancer, the most common type in women has been on the rise and most of them suffering from it aren’t even aware of the problem. The higher population getting affected by it only knows when it has advanced to later stages, i.e. Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Every year, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day takes place on October 13 and thousands of organizations around the world throw light on the importance of working on reducing the threat of breast cancer.
What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?
Metastatic breast cancer, which is also known as stage IV, advanced or secondary breast cancer, is a type that has spread beyond the breasts and has reached other organs in the body. Other than the breast, the later stages can reach the bones, lungs, liver, and even the brain. The disease is considered incurable at the present phase of time, but the advances achieved in treatments and research have meant a lot and the convincing results have shown that some people are able to live with metastatic breast cancer for many years.
How does it spread?
It mainly occurs when the cancer cells break away from the tumor formed in the breasts (During blood Cancer) through the bloodstream of the lymphatic system to enter other parts of the body.
“Around 30% of the women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer are sure to develop Metastatic Breast Cancer.”
But cancer formed in other parts of the body will still be due to breast cancer cells and not due to anything else. For e.g., If it gets spread in the bones, then cancer formed would not be due to bone cancer cells but breast only.
The symptoms vary greatly according to the location of cancer formed. The diagnoses for cancer spread in bones, liver, lungs, and the brains are different.
The breast cancer spread in the bones will have a sudden and a new pain in your bones. It can affect any bone but mainly spreads to the pelvis, ribs, spine or the long bones.
“People suffering also include young people too. Other than women, it affects the men too, and can be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.”
If the breast cancer has advanced to the brain, then the changes in speech and vision, headaches and memory problems.
Cancer spread in lungs doesn’t show symptoms but if it does, then severe pain, breathing problems, cough, and discomfort are common.
Even cancer spread in the lever doesn’t cause symptoms. The nearest can be fatigue, weight loss, weakness and poor appetite, and some amount of pain or discomfort in the mid-section of the body.
The most common diagnoses for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy etc. There are also some local treatments and clinical trials with respect to metastatic breast cancer.
“Well, there are no definitive or exact prognostic statistics with respect to metastatic breast cancer and every patient and their disease is unique.”
Spread the Awareness about the Metastatic Breast Cancer
There are many independent and government organizations working for people suffering from breast cancer and their later stages. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance along with its founding member Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, work in order to make progress in the research and also helping the patients to get better access about the information related to the disease.
Our work is to help the ones suffering by supporting these organizations and also by helping the ones in need by donating, organizing events, and forming groups so that these patients get some motivation and confidence in fighting the disease.
“According to an estimated figure, around 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. The disease accounts for an approximate 40,000 deaths in the U.S. annually”
So, are you aware enough?