Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has started in your breast and traveled to other parts of your body. It has the exact same characteristics and cells as the original cancer. There are some common sites that the cancer can spread to and usually do and those sites include lungs, bones and the liver. This will look the same as the original cancer cells. Breast cancer is the leading cancer in females. Cells that grow out of control in one breast can invade the surrounding tissue, and a mass is formed. This mass is almost cancer, sometimes it is just a benign tumor, but this is rare. When cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is said to have metastasized, usually going into the lymph nodes. Breast cancer that has spread is called metastatic breast cancer.
Even with treatment, cancer does and will come back. This can happen when just a few small cells remain in the tissue. It can spread to the bones, lungs, liver or brain. You may not have any symptoms, with metastatic breast cancer. The doctor upon finding the metastatic cancer can try a few different treatments, which can include surgery, chemo, hormone therapy and radiation. He may use only one or may try a combination of treatments to battle the cancer. You and your doctor need to come up with a treatment plan that works for you and will give you the best results.
When having metastatic breast cancer treatments, you can end up with getting some side effects from the treatment. Some of these include loss of hair, loss of appetite, fatigue and a general feeling of being run down and having no energy. Some women will also experience bouts of nausea. Some women are trying some alternative treatments. These include homeopathic treatments, vitamin regiment, a very healthy diet; some go to a chiropractor, and some see an acupuncturist. There is no guarantee that any of these therapies will work. Some of these women are combining the alternate therapies with regular treatments. If you decide to use an alternative treatment, make sure that you let your doctor know that you are using them.
Tips and comments
It is very common for women who are going through metastatic breast cancer to have concerns. You might feel that you have been let down by your body, the doctor and the medicines to treat cancer. You may be feeling very weak and vulnerable when the cancer comes back. One thing that you should seek out is a support group. These women and men can help you understand what you are going through and can be very beneficial to your health. They understand in ways that your family and friends never will. They can help to get you through your darkest hours. If the metastatic breast cancer is in advanced stages, you may want to think of doing a living will. This can help protect you and what you want done when you may no longer be coherent enough to make sense. It will tell the doctors when you want the treatment to stop, and if you want any heroic measures to be taken.
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