Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Executive Summary

Metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms. Metastatic breast cancer affects the lungs, bones, or liver. Almost 33% of women with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic disease. The primary symptom of metastatic breast cancer is identified by its rapid spread to other body parts. The most common symptoms of metastatic breast cancer are experience feelings of outrage, panic, stress and mental illness. The signs and symptoms change as cancer spreads to other body parts involving metastasis in the liver (stiffness, irritation and loss of weight and appetite), brain (headache, giddiness and also loss of memory), bone (severe ache or discomfort and affecting ribs, pelvis and spine), and lungs (pain or discomfort in the lung, breathing issues, and a steady cough).

Signs and Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Before going into symptoms of metastatic breast cancer we should know that breast cancer which has a dreaded ability to mature and spread to different parts of the body, most commonly the lungs, bones, or the liver is known as metastatic breast cancer ​1​.

Breast cancer cells can tear away from the primary tumor in the breast and spread to non-identical parts of the body via capillaries and lymphatic nodes, which is an extensive network of nodes and vessels that slogs to remove bacteria and viruses, and cellular waste.

Breast cancer can recur in another part of the body months or years after being diagnosed and treated in the first place. Almost 33% of women with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic disease.

Some people have symptoms of metastatic breast cancer when they are first diagnosed with the disease. It means that breast cancer was not identified before it rapidly spread to other body parts ​2​.

A metastatic tumor is made up of breast cancer cells. As a result, if breast cancer spreads to the bone, the metastatic tumor in the bone is composed of breast cancer cells rather than bone cells.

When you are suffering from metastatic breast cancer you may experience feelings of outrage, panic, stress and mental illness ​3​

As cancer can spread swiftly to various parts of the body, The symptoms and signs of Metastatic Cancer are as follows,

Metastasis

Liver Metastasis: When cancer unfurls to the liver, One does not have or show any sign of major symptoms. However, when it does show minor symptoms and signs it includes stiffness, irritation and loss of weight and appetite ​4​.

Brain Metastasis: When cancer moves to the brain, The symptoms could include major headache, giddiness and also loss of memory ​5​

Bone Metastasis: Patients often have severe ache or discomfort, It can mature and affect various bones and they are the ribs, pelvis and spine ​6​

Lung Metastasis: Symptoms and signs of lung metastasis include pain or discomfort in the lung, breathing issues, and a steady cough ​7​.

References

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    Eckardt AM, Rana M, Essig H, Gellrich NC. Orbital metastases as first sign of metastatic spread in breast cancer: Case report and review of the literature. Head Neck Oncol. Published online August 22, 2011. doi:10.1186/1758-3284-3-37
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    Al-Mahmood S, Sapiezynski J, Garbuzenko OB, Minko T. Metastatic and triple-negative breast cancer: challenges and treatment options. Drug Deliv and Transl Res. Published online July 5, 2018:1483-1507. doi:10.1007/s13346-018-0551-3
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    Pentheroudakis G, Fountzilas G, Bafaloukos D, et al. Metastatic breast cancer with liver metastases: a registry analysis of clinicopathologic, management and outcome characteristics of 500 women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. Published online December 2, 2005:237-244. doi:10.1007/s10549-005-9117-4
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    Rostami R, Mittal S, Rostami P, Tavassoli F, Jabbari B. Brain metastasis in breast cancer: a comprehensive literature review. J Neurooncol. Published online February 24, 2016:407-414. doi:10.1007/s11060-016-2075-3
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    Tahara RK, Brewer TM, Theriault RL, Ueno NT. Bone Metastasis of Breast Cancer. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Published online 2019:105-129. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-20301-6_7
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    Jin L, Han B, Siegel E, Cui Y, Giuliano A, Cui X. Breast cancer lung metastasis: Molecular biology and therapeutic implications. Cancer Biology & Therapy. Published online April 30, 2018:858-868. doi:10.1080/15384047.2018.1456599