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Cancer » Burst Cancer

Living with an Escalated Case of Breast Cancer- What to Expect

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Even after initial diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer can come back. A local recurrence in the breast, a regional one around the armpits, or collarbone, or a metastatic one in the lungs, brain, liver, or bones, always remains a possibility.

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In a metastasized cancer, many things are different. It changes its nature. It’s area of occurrence shifts. Its symptoms also suffer a bit of variation. But above all, the prognosis and your attitude towards the disease get completely revamped.

Metastatic breast cancer isn’t curable in most cases. But, you can live with it for a long time, and stay healthy enough to have a life as well.

Metastasis Demands a New Prognosis

When you are diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time, and it hasn’t developed to stage 4 yet, the doctors are more focused on getting the disease uprooted entirely, if possible. You may go through chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, even mastectomy, to get rid of cancer once and for all.

But in cases of a grand comeback, especially when the cancerous cells have attacked vital organs, the focus of treatment changes. The doctors want you to live, and if possible, be relatively healthy too.

This calls for treatments that can ensure a peaceful coexistence treaty between you and your disease. Clinical trials, hormonal therapies, experimental drugs, and growth-preventive measures become the treatment of choice.

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Between 1993 and 2013, you will notice about 30% increase in the number of women who are leading almost regular lives with advanced breast cancer. Studies suggest that you can easily live for a decade or so with this disease, maybe even more.

Of course, therapies will become a part of your new regular life. Along with work, family, exercise sessions, vacation trips, coffee dates, and Sunday brunches, therapy appointments will become a part of your lifestyle.

With metastatic cancer, however, you will have to try many things. When a drug works, you’ll stay the course until it stops working. Once that happens, you’ll be assigned a new trial. And the cycle keeps on going.

Conventional methods like chemo may be suggested as the radiation travels through your entire body. Given that advanced breast cancer is a whole-body issue, chemotherapy can prove helpful to some degrees. Regular CT scans, bone scans, and PET scans will also be a part of your schedule, their intention being regular monitoring of cancer.

Is Metastasis Inevitable?

In all types of cancers, a recurring episode remains a possibility after the initial bout has been cured. However, it’s believed that a relapse becomes less potential with time.

When breast cancer begins to metastasize, the symptoms may not be visible at all. However, as the damage increases, signs like bone and joint pain, unexplained fatigue, spontaneous fractures, numbness, breathing issues, frequent headaches, seizures, balance loss, and confusion could show up.

Getting tested at regular intervals while keeping an eye on your body indicators is a good approach if you’ve already fought breast cancer once.

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