When a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, the goal of early treatment for both early and locally advanced breast cancer is to eradicate the cancer and keep it from coming back.
Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to sites beyond the axillary lymph nodes. It is not a specific type of breast cancer, but the most advanced stage of breast cancer. Although metastatic breast cancer has spread to another part of the body, it’s still considered and treated specifically as breast cancer.
Typically, symptoms of metastasis, or distant recurrence, may include shortness of breath, weight loss and bone pain.
According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, it’s estimated that at least 154,000 people in the United States have metastatic breast cancer. Most often, it arises months or years after a person has completed treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer.
No cure currently exists for metastatic breast cancer. Many of those affected continue treatment with the goal of extending the best quality of life possible.
Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed Oct. 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. In his proclamation, Snyder noted there is still more research to be done for metastatic breast cancer to develop new and more effective treatments.
The proclamation also makes mention of a searchable database that provides patients, family members and the public with information about ongoing clinical research studies at clinicaltrials.gov.
Learn more about breast cancer recurrence here. For other information on breast cancer including resources, research, volunteer opportunities and fundraising, visit komenmichigan.orgor cancer.org.
Tags: metastatic breast cancer