Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from the breast area to other organs in the body, including the bones, lungs, liver or brain. Even though the cancer extends to different parts of the body, the cancer is still treated as breast cancer because the cancer cells originated in the breast region. Known as Stage 4 breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced form of breast cancer and does not represent a specific type. According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, it is approximated that more than 154,000 women in the United States have metastatic breast cancer.
No woman wants to hear that she has breast cancer, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs that can indicate metastatic breast cancer. It’s also important to receive routine mammograms and breast screenings, so your doctor can monitor your breast health. The symptoms for metastatic breast cancer can vary depending on where the cancer has spread, and on the individual. Many people may experience no apparent warning signs of metastatic cancer.
If you notice any of these warning signs, contact your doctor at Regional Cancer Care Associates immediately for an examination.
Common Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastasis in the Bones
- Constant, continuous pain in your back, joints and other bones
- Bones that are easily fractured or broken
- Difficulty urinating
- Numbness or weakness in the body
Metastasis to the Lungs
- Chest pain
- Constant dry cough, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite and extreme weight loss
Metastasis to the Liver
- Itchy skin, rash
- Abdominal bloating, tenderness or pain
- Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
Metastasis to the Brain
- Progressively worsening headache
- Vision problems including blurry vision, loss of vision and double vision
- Loss of balance
- Personality or behavioral changes
These symptoms do not define metastatic breast cancer, and can signal a variety of other health issues. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about these symptoms.
To schedule an appointment with Regional Cancer Care Associates, contact us today.