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Common Sites Of Metastasis In Breast Cancer - Symptoms - Diagnosis and Treatment -

The Term metastasis means spread of cancers cells to distant sites away from the site where cancer has first appeared.

Breast Cancer can be metastasized.
Breast cancer can be 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)
These symptoms are sometimes but not always associated with metastatic breast cancer, and having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean a woman has metastatic breast cancer. Most women whose breast cancer has metastasized do not show symptoms until the disease is extensive.
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

  1. Bone Scan
  2. Chest X-ray
  3. MRI scan
  4. CT scan
  5. Blood Tests.
In certain cancer blood express, some new chemical compounds called tumour cell markers. e.g alpha-fetoprotein which increases in liver cell carcinoma. PSA, prostate-specific antigen, ( increase in prostate cancer ) 
similarly in Breast cancer CEA (carcinoembryonic 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: 
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 advanced 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 anaemia

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