Doctor insights on:
Medicine For Metastatic Breast Cancer
If one has slow-growing metastatic breast cancer will the anti-cancer drugs make the cancer more aggressive?
Treatment: Does not alter biologic behavior. Mets are never good. Some argue to re-biopsy to recheck re-ceptors (er, pr her-2-neu): the cells that metastasize may be different from those at outset. Best gauge is time from DX to relapse for "slow". Bony only and er+ usually fit this pattern. Cytotoxic chemo does not change growth or met potential, but cancers themselves can mutate to more aggressive type. ...Read more
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
There are many breast cancer drugs available for metastatic disease. Several drugs have been recently approved for use. These include lapatinib, pertuzumab, ixabepilone, abraxane.
Here is a list of approved breast cancer drugs;
http://www. Cancer. Gov/cancertopics/druginfo/breastcancer. ...Read more
Stage 4 Cancer: Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that started in the breast, but has spread into other places like the liver, lung, bones or brain. It is also called stage 4 breast cancer. It is not usually curable, but many women live with metastatic breast cancer for years with ongoing treatment. ...Read more
It can and it does: Progress of cancer means the cancer is getting worse. This is not uncommon as the cancers tend to spead further in the body and tumors get larger in size especially when the treatment is not working. Cancer is either regressing (with good treatment) or progressing (without treatment or with the ineffective treatment). ...Read more
Cancer has spread: Metastatic, or stage 4 breast cancer, means the cancer has spread into other places in the body. Breast cancer at this stage can be treated, sometimes for 10 or more years depending on the type, but it cannot be cured. ...Read more
PET/CT: The primary test for staging for breast cancer is the pet/ct scan. A bone scan is also helpful if you're concerned about bony disease, and a head MRI for brain metastases. The sites of distant spread for breast cancer are generally the lungs, the liver, the bone and the brain, so these tests are sufficient. ...Read more
It's not: There are many treatments for metastatic breast cancer which can control it for years. Although it can be treated, it is rarely cured. That is because cancer cells are constantly mutating, so treatments lose effectiveness. Metastatic breast cancer requires constant treatment with either hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or biologic therapy. Treatments are changed as they lose effectiveness. ...Read more
Depends: I would depend on where the metastasis are located and how advanced. Initially metastasis to different areas may produce no symptoms. Then as they progress problems can develope. In bone, you can get pain, collapse of a part of the spine if that is involved, fractures. In the lung you can become short of breath or develop fluid. In the liver you can develope liver problems. Etc. ...Read more
None: My sympathies for your condition. There is nothing in the medicine cabinet of natural medicine for metastatic breast cancer. A variety of agents are helpful in this condition which your oncologist can help you with. ...Read more
Stage 4 cancer: There are 4 stages of cancer, with stage 4 being the highest. Stage 4 means cancer has spread outside of the place it started and can't be removed by surgery. Women with stage 4, or metastatic, breast cancer cannot usually be cured. The cancer can be treated to keep it under control, often for years, but it depends on the type of breast cancer. ...Read more
It varies from years: The avergae survival of metastatic breast cancer patients is 2-3 years but it is highly variable and can range from 6 months to 10+ years! . Patients who have only one organ involved or if the cancer is limited to bones only tend to live for 4-5 years on an average. ...Read more
Stage IV: I hope your mom is okay. Metastatic breast cancer is condition when the cancer has spread beyond the breast. It commonly spreads to the liver, lung, bones, brain. It is unfortunately an incurable disease-although it is treatable. Therapy will depend on the biology of the cancer and your mother's overall health condition and her preference. We do have chemo, targetted therapy, hormonal therapy ...Read more
Depends....: ...on many factors, such as ER and Her2 status (+ vs. -), tumor grade, how many metastases (a few vs. A lot), the location of the metastases (bone vs. Liver/lung/brain), the general health of the patient, and the availability of therapy for her. I would say that as a rule, metastatic breast cancer patients do better than other common cancers but of course there are exceptions. Saludos. ...Read more
Highly variable: Everyone is different, responds to treatments differently, has different cell types & different underlying medical conditions. Depends if bone or lung or liver involvement. Some patients can live for years & others may not. The patient's treating oncologist would be able to answer much better. ...Read more
Don't give up: For starters, find a good oncologist, preferably one who works within a multidisciplinary team and has access to clinical trials. There are too many variables to give you specifics but very likely you will be offered chemo. Depending on the circumstances, surgery or radiation may come to play. You had 3x- cancer before age 60 and fulfill criteria for BRCA testing. If positive (or even if not)... ...Read more
It depends: There are many types of metastatic breast cancer. Life expectancy depends on the type and the location. Er+ breast cancer that has spread only to bones has a life expectancy of years, even 5-10 years. Er- breast cancer has a much shorter life expectancy. In general, breast cancer in organs (lung, liver, brain) causes death sooner than breast cancer in bones only. Ask your oncologist. ...Read more
Variable: Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer can be controlled with chemotherapy in some. Some can live years depending on the individual's response to chemotherapy treatments. Others will not do as well, and each person is different. Discuss in more detail with the treating medical oncologist who can give better answers, knowing the patient and the specific details of the breast cancer. ...Read more
It varies: Advanced cancers lead to increasing impairment of mobility due to weakness, loss of weight or organ failure. Your doctor can help you more by checking the patient. And the reports of their burden of cancer. Anyone who is eating well and fully mobile, is not close to 'shuting down'. ...Read more
Had holiday gathering with multiple family members and found out that many had metastatic breast cancer. What can I do to prevent it?
Genetic testing: Yes, I agree with dr turrisi and zafar. Talk to your family members who have breast cancer. They would need to have genetic counselling and genetic testing - to see if they carry the brca 1/2 gene mutation etc. If they carry this gene mutation, then you should ask the counsellor what your risk is and then you would probably need to get the test as well. You need prevention if your test is +. ...Read more
My relative has metastatic breast cancer, going through the final stages. Is it advisable for her daughter to undergo tests? Is cancer hereditary?
It may: Breast cancer can metastascise to many organs. Regionally to the lymph nodes and distantly to other organs. More commonly to the bones, lung, liver, brain and other visceral structures in the abdomen or pelvis. ...Read more
It Depends: It depends on the "personality" of the cancer, ie whether it has the estrogen receptor, Progesterone receptor, or her2. It also depends on where the cancer is. Er+ cancer that has spread only to bone can often be treated with anti-estrogen pills alone, while cancer in the liver, lungs or brain often requires chemotherapy. Women can live for years with metastatic breast cancer. ...Read more
Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more
Most breast cancers are carcinomas. This is a type of breast cancer. These cancers start in the cells that line organs and tissues. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands (glandular tissue). Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts (the milk ducts) or ...Read more
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