The Term metastasis means spread of cancers cells to distant sites away from the site where the cancer has first appeared.
Breast Cancer can be metastasized.
Breast cancer can speared to axillary lymph nodes and grows in size there.
Breast cancer can spread to almost any part of the body but the most common sites are bones followed by lungs and liver.
Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer may include:
- Bone pain (possible indication of bone metastases)
- Shortness of breath (possible indication of lung metastases)
- Lack of appetite (possible indication of liver metastases)
- Weight loss (possible indication of liver metastases)
- Neurological pain or weakness, headaches (possible indications of neurological metastases)
Approximately 25% of breast cancers spread first to the bone. The bones of the spine, ribs, pelvis, skull, and long bones of the arms and legs are most often affected.
Diagnosis of Metastasis Can be confirmed by following tests
- Bone Scan
- Chest X-ray
- MRI scan
- CT scan
- Blood Tests.
In certain cancer blood express some new chemical compounds called tumor cell markers. e.g alpha feto protein which increases in liver cell carcinoma. PSA, prostate specific antigen, ( increase in prostate cancer )
similarly in Breast cancer CEA (carcino embryonic antigen) concentration increases.However, the CEA level can also be elevated in a number of benign (non-cancerous) conditions. Some of these include stomach ulcers, colon polyps, cigarette smoking,
Treatment options include supportive therapy and administration of drugs that reduce the symptoms.
Aredia is an FDA-approved drug used to treat some patients with advancee breast cancer. It is administered intravenously (through a vein) along with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. Clinical studies have shown that breast cancer patients with bone metastases who are given Aredia tend to experience a delay in or reduction of bone pain, fractures, and other bone complications compared to patients who do not receive Aredia. Possible side effects of Aredia include fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, initial bone pain, lack of appetite, and anemia