What does metastatic breast cancer mean?

What is the difference between breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer?

Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast start to divide uncontrollably. A tumor is a mass or collection of these abnormal cells. Metastasis refers to cancer cells that have spread to a new area of the body.

What is the life expectancy of metastatic breast cancer?

About one-third of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. live at least 5 years after diagnosis [15]. Some women may live 10 or more years beyond diagnosis [17].

Is metastatic breast cancer treatable?

Treatment. As hard as it is to hear, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured today. Unlike breast cancer that remains in the breast or nearby lymph nodes, you can’t get rid of all the cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. However, metastatic breast cancer can be treated.

Can I live 10 years with metastatic breast cancer?

While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, there are treatments that slow the cancer, extending the patient’s life while also improving the quality of life, Henry says. Many patients now live 10 years or more after a metastatic diagnosis.

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What is the most aggressive type of breast cancer?

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered an aggressive cancer because it grows quickly, is more likely to have spread at the time it’s found and is more likely to come back after treatment than other types of breast cancer. The outlook is generally not as good as it is for other types of breast cancer.

Is metastasis a death sentence?

Metastatic breast cancer is not an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some will live for many years.

What causes death in metastatic breast cancer?

The most common cause of death was metastatic disease to various organs, accounting for 42% of all deaths. Infection was the second most common cause of death; however, only 27% of the patients with infection had significant neutropenia. In patients dying of hemorrhage, only 9% were thrombocytopenic.

Is metastatic cancer always fatal?

That’s because cancer that has spread from where it originated in the body to other organs is responsible for most deaths from the disease. But in 1995, two cancer researchers put forth a controversial concept: There is a state of cancer metastasis that isn’t necessarily fatal.

Can chemo cure metastatic cancer?

Chemo is considered a systemic treatment because the drugs travels throughout the body, and can kill cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) to parts of the body far away from the original (primary) tumor. This makes it different from treatments like surgery and radiation.

Is there any hope for metastatic breast cancer?

While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, there are treatment options available that can extend a patient’s life, while maintaining quality of life. There are also clinical trials available that offer hope.

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