Five Treatment Options for Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastatic breast cancer has also been categorized as Stage 4 breast cancer. Cancer, especially in its last stage, has the ability to spread across other parts of the human body, including the lungs, brain, bones, and liver. It usually metastasizes when cancer cells permeate the healthy cells located nearby, pierce into the circulatory system, and lodge in capillaries which are then carried by the bloodstream to different parts of the body, or when there is a growth of new tumors.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer vary and generally depend on the area the cancer cells have intruded into. Metastasis in the bone leads to swelling and severe pain. When it affects the brain, the symptoms include vision disturbances, nausea or vomiting, seizures, persistent headaches, or some behavioral changes. Metastasis in the liver gives rise to jaundice, abdominal pain, skin rashes, and appetite loss, whereas its effect on the lungs may cause a chronic cough, chest pain, weight loss, and fatigue, to name a few.
You Are Not Alone
If you have been dignosed with a metastatic breast cancer, don’t panic. Rest assured that there is an ample number of people who are leading fulfilling and productive lives while undergoing treatment for this metastatic disease. Many approaches have been developed, and new treatments are going through rigid tests day in and day out. The treatment plan for a particular individual will, of course, be different than others as each human being is unique and different, and each kind of breast cancer is distinctive in its own way. The treatment options for such type of a breast cancer are many, and here, you can take a look at the available treatment options which you can choose from.
If the cancer cells intrude into a different part of your body, surgery might not be recommended as removing the part of your body where the cancer cells have spread can, in all probability, become impossible or risky. But, your physician might recommend a surgery in case you are going through painful lesions in the bones or experiencing blockages in the liver. If the initial detection of your breast cancer has been found to be metastatic, a surgery can be highly recommended since the first priority at that stage is all about removing the tumor from the breast.
If the cancer is on a rapid growth or is on the rise at the time you are undergoing a treatment, a chemotherapy is what the doctor is most likely to recommend. Chemotherapy is a type of chemical drug therapy which is carried out to diminish the fast-growing cancer cells in the body, slowing their growth, and eventually destroying them in the process.
Radiation therapy has proved its effectiveness in the treatment of this metastatic disease. Radiation is used to decrease the risk of weakening and breaking of a bone affected by cancer cells, to ease pain and lessen internal bleeding, and improve breathing.
Though hormonal therapy wouldn’t have any effect on hormone-receptor breast cancer, this therapy is highly effective in slowing down the growth of the hormone-receptor-positive disease.
As the name implies, this therapy targets certain characteristics of the cancer cells — for example, a protein that promotes its growth. While chemotherapy can harm healthy cells, targeted therapy is less likely to do that. There are two essential things you must keep in mind if you have been detected with metastatic breast cancer. You must not panic at any cost. Always remember that there are other women like you who are leading a fulfilled life even after their diagnosis; your mental health is just as important. Having confidence in yourself is the first and foremost thing you need to have when initiating your cancer treatment. There are different treatment options, as discussed above, and new medicines are going through stringent tests each day.
While metastatic breast cancer may not be cured completely, therapies and treatments have the ability to control it for several years. If one treatment is not proving to be effective as you expected it to be, there are other options that you can avail. Breast cancer can get active often and many a time can get revoked. Breaks in the treatment process can have a positive impact, especially when the disease is under restraint and you are in the best of your moods. Be strong, and hang in there.
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