Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms
Metastatic breast cancer symptoms depend on the part of the body to which the cancer has spread and its stage. Sometimes, metastatic disease may not cause any symptoms.
- If the breast or chest wall is affected, symptoms may include pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm.
- If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
- If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.
- If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal girth, swelling of the feet and hands due to fluid collection and yellowing or itchy skin.
- If breast cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumors, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with speech, difficulty with movement or seizures.
What Does It Mean When Your Breast Is Red
Discoloration, giving the breast a red, purple, pink or bruised appearance. Unusual warmth of the affected breast. Dimpling or ridges on the skin of the affected breast, similar to an orange peel. Tenderness, pain or aching. Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone or below the collarbone.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms
Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
- The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel
- Heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast
- One breast is visibly larger than the other
- Inverted nipple
- No mass is felt with a breast self-exam
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
- Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics
Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.
For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.
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Physical Emotional And Social Effects Of Cancer
In general, cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects, as well as emotional, social, and financial effects. Managing all of these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. It is an important part of your care that is included along with treatments intended to slow, stop, or eliminate the cancer.
Supportive care focuses on improving how you feel during treatment by managing symptoms and supporting patients and their families with other, non-medical needs. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive this type of care. And it often works best when it is started right after a cancer diagnosis. People who receive supportive care along with treatment for the cancer often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report that they are more satisfied with treatment.
Supportive care treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional and spiritual support, and other therapies.
Music therapy, meditation, stress management, and yoga for reducing anxiety and stress.
Meditation, relaxation, yoga, massage, and music therapy for depression and to improve other mood problems.
Meditation and yoga to improve general quality of life.
Acupressure and acupuncture to help with nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
What Are The Subtypes Of Cancer
Subtypes include tubular, mucinous, medullary and papillary. Your subtype gives your doctor some clues about your prognosis and how your cells may respond to treatment. The degree of difference between the cancer cells and normal cells. How different your cancer cells look from normal cells is called your cancers grade.
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What Are The Possible Side
Side-effects follow every other surgery and the same is true with double mastectomy. If proper care is taken, one can get rid of such side-effects easily.
Tiredness: The patient of double mastectomy might feel extremely fatigued for a couple of days after the surgery. It can even get uncomfortable lying in bed. Arranging pillows around the torso and sleeping in a reclining position with the help of a recliner can prove to be effective.
Numbness: The patient of double mastectomy may experience some form of unusual sensations in the chest and underarms like itchiness or some form of pressure. The chest may feel overly sensitive or completely numb. This is not abnormal and will go away with time.
Stiffness: Some amount of stiffness may be experienced in arms and shoulders. Stretching exercises may provide some relief.
Surgery For Breast Cancer
Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery. Common types of breast surgery are lumpectomy, mastectomy, and taking out lymph nodes from the underarm. Women who have breast surgery may also decide to have the breast shape rebuilt, either at the same time or later on. This is called breast reconstruction.
Choosing between lumpectomy and mastectomy
Lumpectomy takes out the lump and a little bit of normal breast around it. It lets you keep most of your breast. The downside is that youll most likely need radiation treatment after surgery. But some women who have a mastectomy also need radiation afterward.
When choosing between a lumpectomy and mastectomy, be sure to get all the facts. At first you may think that a mastectomy is the best way to get it all out. Some women tend to choose mastectomy because of this. But most often, lumpectomy with radiation is just as good as mastectomy. Talk to your cancer care team. Learn as much as you can to make the right choice for you.
If you have breast surgery, you may want to think about having your breast shape rebuilt . Its not done to treat the cancer. It builds a breast shape that looks a lot like your natural breast.
If you are thinking about having reconstruction, you should talk to a plastic surgeon before the breast surgery is done. Your breast might be able to be rebuilt at the same time the surgery is done or later on.
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What Are The First Signs Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer can be challenging to catch because it doesnt often cause a lump like more common forms of breast cancer. Instead, the first signs are related to inflammation in your affected breast. These symptoms make it easy to confuse IBC for a less serious condition, like an infection.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast. It starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. It can start in one or both breasts.
Breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on a mammogram or ultrasound or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is most common in women, but men also can get breast cancer .
Breast cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and grow there, too. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis.
Cancer is named for the place where it starts. So even if breast cancer spreads to the bones , its still called breast cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.
Treatment Of Locoregional Recurrent Breast Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
For information about treatment options for breast cancer that has spread to parts of the body outside the breast, chest wall, or nearby lymph nodes, see the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer section.
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
Why Does Breast Cancer Build Up Fluid
This fluid buildup occurs because cancer cells have blocked lymph vessels in the skin, preventing the normal flow of lymph through the tissue. Sometimes the breast may contain a solid tumor that can be felt during a physical exam, but more often a tumor cannot be felt. Other symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include a rapid increase in breast
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Gastric Metastasis Of Bilateral Breast Cancer
Omar Jmour1, Asma Belaïd1, Fahmi Mghirbi2, Khalil Béhi2, Raoudha Doghri3, Farouk Benna1
1 Department of Medical Oncology, 3 Department of Pathology, Salah Azaiez Institute, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Tunis El Manar University, Tunis, Tunisia
Keywords: Breast cancer gastric metastasis therapy
Submitted Jun 14, 2016. Accepted for publication Aug 24, 2016.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Inflammatory Breast Cancer
IBC usually develops quickly and spreads to other tissues outside of your breast. It often returns after treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to managing the condition as effectively as possible.
Because IBC spreads quickly and is found later than other cancers, the outlook for people with this condition is generally not as good as for different types of breast cancer. Still, some people live many years after an IBC diagnosis. Your healthcare provider can explain your prognosis to you.
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Why Is My Breast Red
If your breast looks red or swollen, theres no need to panic. A tender area or rash on your breast often signals a common problem like an infection. In other cases, its a symptom of a common, treatable skin condition. Rarely, a rash and soreness can be signs of inflammatory breast cancer, a form of the disease that can grow quickly,
What Percentage Of Breast Cancer Is Inflammatory
Extreme Media/Getty Images. According to the American Cancer Society, inflammatory breast cancer accounts for roughly 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Unlike other noninflammatory forms of breast cancer, IBC tends to cause an entirely separate set of symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms can come and go
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Can You Have Breast Cancer In Only One Breast
It can start in one or both breasts. Breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on a mammogram or ultrasound or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is most common in women, but men also can get breast cancer . Breast cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and grow there, too.
Treatment For Breast Cancer May Cause Side Effects
Some treatments for breast cancer may cause side effects that continue or appear months or years after treatment has ended. These are called late effects.
Late effects of radiation therapy are not common, but may include:
- Inflammation of the lung after radiation therapy to the breast, especially when chemotherapy is given at the same time.
- Arm lymphedema, especially when radiation therapy is given after lymph node dissection. For more information, see Lymphedema.
- In women younger than 45 years who receive radiation therapy to the chest wall after mastectomy, there may be a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the other breast.
Late effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs used, but may include:
Late effects of targeted therapy with trastuzumab, lapatinib, or pertuzumab may include:
- Heart problems such as heart failure.
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What Kinds Of Support Are Available
If youve recently been diagnosed with multifocal breast cancer, you might have a lot of questions about everything from your treatment options to how much theyll cost. Your doctor and the rest of your medical team can be good sources for this information.
You can also find more information and support groups in your area through cancer organizations like these:
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Breast Cancer
A change seen on your mammogram may be the first sign of breast cancer. Or you may have found a lump or other change in your breast.
The doctor will ask you questions about your health and will examine you. A breast exam is done, which includes looking for changes in the nipples or the skin of your breasts. The doctor will also check the lymph nodes under your arm and above your collarbone. Swollen or hard lymph nodes might mean breast cancer has spread there.
Mammogram: This is an x-ray of the breast. Mammograms are mostly used to find breast cancer early. But you might have another mammogram to look more closely at the breast problem you could have.
MRI scan: MRIs use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays to make detailed pictures. MRIs can be used to learn more about the size of the cancer and look for other tumors in the breast.
Breast ultrasound: For this test, a small wand-like instrument is moved around on your breast. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off tissues. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen. Ultrasound can help the doctor see if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst , or if it’s a solid mass that could be cancer.
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How Is It Treated
Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer. If the cancer is early stage meaning the tumors are only in one quadrant of your breast breast-conserving surgery is possible. This procedure removes as much of the cancer as possible, while preserving the healthy breast tissue around it.
Large tumors or cancers that have spread may require mastectomy surgery to remove the whole breast. Lymph nodes may also be removed during the surgery.
Although breast cancer treatments can improve your survival odds, they can have side effects.
Side effects from breast-conserving surgery include:
- pain in the breast
- swelling in the breast or arm
- change in the shape of the breast
- redness, itching, peeling, and irritation of the skin
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as smoking. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age. Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over 55 years old.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
- Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Gender. According to the
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
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What Is Bilateral Breast Cancer
Bilateral breast cancer occurs when malignant cells are found in the tissue of both breasts, as these cells tend to spread over time. Symptoms of this issue include a lump in the tissue of the armpit or breast, sudden change in the shape or size of the breast or nipple, or abnormal fluid coming from the nipple.
Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or a benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand whats causing your symptoms.
Tests that can help your doctor diagnose breast cancer include:
- Mammogram. The most common way to see below the surface of your breast is with an imaging test called a mammogram. Many women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an atypical area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests.
- Ultrasound. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast. An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
Your doctor may also suggest tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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