Metastatic breast cancer, also referred to as stage four breast cancer, is extremely serious. It has the ability to spread throughout the body.
Although the five-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is only 22 percent, aggressive treatment can help you to live longer.
Where Can Breast Cancer Spread?
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, it often takes years for the disease to spread. This is why women who have early-stage breast cancer tend to have such a high survival rate.
When cancer does start to spread, virtually every region of the body is at risk. However, some parts are more prone than others. This includes the brain, lungs, liver, and, especially, the bones.
What are the Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer?
Like most types of cancer, metastatic cancer causes serious fatigue. Even after getting a good night’s sleep, sufferers often wake up feeling extremely drained. Even simple everyday activities, like walking and opening doors, could cause exhaustion. Of course, intense exercising will be virtually out of the question.
Constant tiredness is among the first symptoms of metastatic cancer.
Unintentional Weight Loss
When suffering from metastatic breast cancer, significant weight loss is bound to occur at some point. This weight loss is a direct result of muscle deterioration and the loss of appetite. Cancer tends to take away your desire to eat.
If the disease has reached the liver, you may start to scale down even more dramatically.
It’s certainly not uncommon for metastatic breast cancer to trigger depression. In order to overcome this state of unhappiness, you should seek the support of your loved ones and/or a health professional.
Liver Metastases (Malignant Growths)
If breast cancer advances to the liver, expect to experience intense abdominal pain. Vomiting is also likely to occur.
Because the liver is under the attack, your skin may start to yellow.
In many instances, people don’t realize they have metastatic breast cancer until they suffer a fracture. Their bones will be very weak and brittle. Even a seemingly minor injury may lead to a break.
Breast cancer that has reached the lungs typically progresses gradually. Although you may first develop a chronic cough and mild shortness of breath, it may eventually lead to a buildup of fluid within the lungs. Breathing will then be especially restricted.
Although cancer spreading to the brain does not happen as often, it naturally causes the most panic. The pounding headaches, dizziness, and personality changes will be hard to ignore. Seizures can occur as well.
While living with metastatic breast cancer is a challenge, you can still overcome the odds. Each day, researchers are working hard to find new solutions. Do your own research to learn about the latest developments in breast cancer treatment.