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Can Breast Cancer Metastasis To Colon

Receiving Treatment For Metastatic Colon Cancer

Breast Cancer Metastasis, When Can It Happen?

If you experience any unusual symptoms, it is important to consult with a physician. Many conditions can cause similar symptoms therefore, a medical exam and diagnostic screening is required to determine if metastatic colon cancer is the cause.

Moffitt Cancer Center offers comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services for patients with metastatic colon cancer, regardless of where it has spread. If you suspect that you may have metastatic colon cancer or have already received a diagnosis, you can request an appointment at Moffitt with or without a referral. To get started, call or fill out a new patient registration form online.

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Building A Family Tree For Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

There has been a longstanding debate about when metastasis occurs, Dr. Curtis said. Studying the metastatic process in humans is challenging because researchers cant observe the process directly, she noted.

Colorectal cancer is a good model for studying the genetic changes in human tumors over time because the genetic changes that initiate colorectal cancer development, known as driver mutations, are well known, Dr. Curtis and her coauthors wrote.

To gain insights into the genetic changes involved in metastasis, the team first compared the patterns of genetic mutations between the primary tumors of 21 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and metastatic tumors in the liver or brain from the same patients.

The researchers used the mutation patterns to create a family tree showing the genetic relatedness between the primary tumor and the metastatic tumor for each patient, Dr. Curtis explained. In 17 of 21 patients , the primary tumor appeared to give rise to the metastatic tumor very early in the disease process.

In those 17 patients, the team found few driver mutations that were unique to the metastasis. Rather, the driver mutations found in the metastatic tumors were already present in the primary tumor, Dr. Curtis said. Moreover, most of these mutations were present throughout different regions of the primary tumor and in the majority of cells, suggesting that they arose early during tumor development.

Symptoms Of Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, what they are like and how often you have them will depend on the size and location of the metastatic tumors. Some common signs of metastatic cancer include:

  • pain and fractures, when cancer has spread to the bone
  • headache, seizures, or dizziness, when cancer has spread to the brain
  • shortness of breath, when cancer has spread to the lung
  • jaundice or swelling in the belly, when cancer has spread to the liver

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What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that spreads to other parts of the body. It normally affects one or more of the following body parts:

  • Brain
  • Bones

In rare cases, breast cancer does spread to the colon.

Just a little above 12 out of every 100 women will have cancer of the breast in their lifetime. Of these cases, studies have shown that just about 20 to 30 percent will develop into a metastatic form.

If breast cancer metastasizes, the treatment becomes targeted at preserving your quality of life and slowing the spread of cancer. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, but advancements in medical science have helped patients to live longer and more fulfilling lives.

Earlier Detection Methods Are Needed

Management of BRAF

Our findings highlight the need for earlier detection of cancer, Dr. Curtis said.

Cancer researchers are already exploring noninvasive methods that could detect cancer at an early stage by analyzing tumor cells, or pieces of DNA from tumor cells, that have escaped from the original tumor and are found in the blood.

This approach, often called a liquid biopsy, could help doctors identify patients at risk for metastasis and treat them with chemotherapy or targeted therapies, if available, to try to eliminate metastatic cells that have spread in the body before surgery, Dr. Boudreau said.

This is early-stage research, but it gives us the first quantitative evidence that metastasis can occur exceedingly early, while also providing clues as to how to identify individuals who are at risk of metastasis, Dr. Curtis said.

Before the new results can be used to guide patient care, the researchers will need to look at a much larger group of patients, to see how consistent their findings are, Dr. Boudreau said.

Indeed, Dr. Curtis said, her team plans to extend their analysis to more patients. The biggest task, she said, will be to follow patients with earlier-stage colorectal cancer and investigate whether these specific combinations of mutations are indeed predictive of disease progression. And then, if thats true, we will have a rationale to go forward with clinical studies.

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Colonic Metastasis From A Breast Carcinoma An Unusual Colonoscopic Finding

Wadah Ali, Zakir K Mohamed and D Thekkinkattil

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Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in females in the UK. Distant metastases are the commonest cause of death and the lung, liver and bones are the most common sites. Metastases to the gastrointestinal tract are rare with colonic metastases even rarer and as such may pose a diagnostic challenge. They are much less common than primary intestinal tumours. Here, we report an interesting case of a patient who presented with colonic metastasis over six years following treatment of a breast carcinoma.

Keywords: Breast cancer, colon metastasis, colonoscopy


A 61-year-old lady underwent a modified radical mastectomy and axillary clearance in 2008 for a carcinoma of the left breast. Histopathology examination revealed two tumours within the left breast a 16mm Grade 2 lobular carcinoma with probable vascular invasion and a 9mm Grade 1 infiltrating ductal carcinoma with no vascular invasion. She had clear resection margins. 21 out of 34 removed lymph nodes were positive for metastatic deposits. The tumour was oestrogen receptor positive and HER2 negative. She was staged as T1 N3a Mx and the tumour had a Nottingham Prognostic Index of 5.32. Metastatic workup revealed no distant metastasis.

The patient opted to undergo a prophylactic right mastectomy in 2010. She was regular in follow up and appeared to be free of disease recurrence for 6 years.



Where Does Metastatic Colon Cancer Spread To

Metastatic, or stage 4, colon cancer is an advanced malignancy that has spread outside the colon to other areas of the body. While colon cancer can travel throughout the body, there are specific areas where it is more likely to spread. The most common include the liver and lungs, as well as the brain, distant lymph nodes and peritoneum . Colon cancer can produce different symptoms depending on where it spreads, and these symptoms may range from hardly noticeable to very severe.

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Recognizing The Signs And Symptoms

The most noticeable sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole or birthmark. People should be aware of any pigmented areas on the skin that appear abnormal in color, shape, size, or texture.

People with stage 4 melanoma may also have ulcerated skin, which is skin with tiny breaks on the surface. These ulcerations can bleed.

Another sign is swollen or hard lymph nodes, which a doctor can confirm by carrying out a physical examination. Other tests include blood tests and imaging scans to confirm the presence of cancer and check how much it has spread.

What Causes Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastasis: How Cancer Spreads

Breast cancer treatments are intended to eliminate any cancer cells that may remain after surgery. Potential treatments include radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

In some cases, some cancer cells survive these treatments. These cancer cells may break away from the original tumor. These cells then make their way to other parts of the body via the circulatory or lymphatic systems.

Once the cells settle somewhere in the body, they have the potential to form a new tumor. This can happen quickly or develop years after initial treatment.

Several tests are used to confirm a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. These include:

  • MRI

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Breast Metastasis From Rectal Adenocarcinoma: A Case Report With Us And Ct Findings

Bilgin Kadri Aribas*1, Aykut Onursever2, Tuba Tekin Kiziltepe1, Hale Aydin1, Sumru Cosar1, Burcu Sahin1, Haci Uzun1 and Filiz Erdil1

1Department of Radiology, A.Y. Ankara OncologyEducation and Research Hospital, 06200 Ankara, Turkey

2Department of Pathology, A.Y. Ankara OncologyEducation and Research Hospital, 06200 Ankara, Turkey

*Corresponding Author:
A.Y. Ankara OncologyEducation and Research Hospital06200 Ankara, Turkey

How Breast Cancer Spreads

Breast cancer can spread through the lymphatic system, the bloodstream, or by local invasionfor instance, when cancer cells actually invade nearby tissues, such as the chest wall or ribs.

When breast cancers spread and enter the lymphatic system, they usually first arrive at nearby lymph nodes and may still be early-stage.

Metastatic breast cancer is the same thing as stage 4 breast cancer and is considered the most advanced stage. It refers to breast cancers that have spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other regions of the body, which are called distant metastases.

While treatment options for metastatic breast cancer are similar no matter where cancer has spread, some treatments are used for specific sites of metastasis as well .

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Looking For More Of An Introduction

If you would like more of an introduction, explore these related items. Please note that these links will take you to other sections on Cancer.Net:

  • ASCO AnswersFact Sheet: Read a 1-page fact sheet that offers an introduction to metastatic breast cancer. This free fact sheet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
  • ASCO AnswersGuide:Get this free 52-page booklet that helps you better understand breast cancer. The booklet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
  • Cancer.Net Patient Education Video: View a short video led by an ASCO expert in metastatic breast cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.

How Will I Know If My Breast Cancer Spreads

The Indian Pharma: Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatment Guidelines

Your doctor will use specific kinds of tests to find out if your cancer has gone to other places in your body. First, your doctor will want to know how youâre feeling. They will ask you about any symptoms youâre having and your overall health. They might also look at the size of your tumor and check your lymph nodes.

After that, the doctor may give you:

Blood tests. They look for signs of anything abnormal thatâs happening in your body. For example, results from a liver function test can let your doctor know that breast cancer may have gone to your liver. High levels of some substances in your blood hint that the cancer has spread to your bones.

Imaging scans. These tests make detailed pictures of the inside of your body. They help your doctor pinpoint any cancer spread. These tests include:

  • X-ray

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Can You Prevent The Cancer From Spreading

Preventing colon cancer from spreading requires early detection. Colon cancer often doesnt have symptoms until the disease is advanced. It is recommended to get yearly screenings after the age of 50. If colon cancer is found in the early stages, removal of affected polyps can prevent it from spreading.

If you are found to have early stage colon cancer, treating it right away is the best prevention against spreading. When you wonder, where does colon cancer spread? the answer is usually into the walls of the colon from a diseased polyp. The doctor can easily remove the polyps with a simple procedure known as a, sigmoidoscopy.

Then, following through with recommended chemotherapy and/or radiation can help further prevent the spread of colon cancer.

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Why Cancer Cells Tend To Spread To The Parts Of The Body They Do

Where a cancer starts is linked to where it will spread. Most cancer cells that break free from the primary tumor are carried in the blood or lymph system until they get trapped in the next downstream organ or set of lymph nodes. This explains why breast cancer often spreads to underarm lymph nodes, but rarely to lymph nodes in the belly. Likewise, there are many cancers that commonly spread to the lungs. This is because the heart pumps blood from the rest of the body through the lungs blood vessels before sending it elsewhere.

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Treatment Of Lung Metastases

Treatment for lung metastases is usually based on the main type of cancer the person has. Treatment may include chemotherapy,immunotherapy or radiation therapy, or a combination of these.

Surgery may be an option if there are a small number of lung metastases and there are no metastases in other parts of the body. Also, surgery would only be used if the main cancer is under control.

Controlling symptoms is important, especially if treatment for the main cancer is not effective or may take a while to help. Shortness of breath can be one of the hardest feelings to deal with. Morphine-like medicines can be used to help decrease the feeling of shortness of breath. Anti-anxiety medicines may be helpful if the morphine-like medicines dont work.

Having trouble breathing can make you feel anxious, worried, and even like you are in a panic. Some patients find the steps below helpful.

  • Distraction
  • A fan blowing cool air on you

Pain can also be hard to deal with, especially if you have other symptoms. Talk to your healthcare team about how you can use medicines and supportive methods to treat your pain.

Connection Between Colon And Breast Cancer

How Cancer Spreads (Metastasis) – Michael Henry, PhD

I have read some articles stating a relationship between colon and breast cancer. I wanted to know more about this because I had breast cancer 5 years ago and was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon with mets. I was told the colon cancer may have been there for close to ten years.

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesnât cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesnât cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

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Stem Cell Or Bone Marrow Transplant

A stem cell transplant, sometimes called bone marrow transplant, replaces damaged blood-forming cells with healthy ones. The procedure takes place following large-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and to stop your stem cells from producing cancerous cells.

Stem cell transplants can be used for several types of cancer, including multiple myeloma and some kinds of leukemia.

Most Common Places It Spreads

It’s still breast cancer, even if it’s in another organ. For example, if breast cancer spreads to your lungs, that doesn’t mean you have lung cancer. Although it can spread to any part of your body, there are certain places it’s most likely to go to, including the lymph nodes, bones, liver, lungs, and brain.


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What Is Metastatic Cancer

Cancer that spreads from where it started to a distant part of the body is called metastatic cancer. For many types of cancer, it is also called stage IV cancer. The process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body is called metastasis.

When observed under a microscope and tested in other ways, metastatic cancer cells have features like that of the primary cancer and not like the cells in the place where the metastatic cancer is found. This is how doctors can tell that it is cancer that has spread from another part of the body.

Metastatic cancer has the same name as the primary cancer. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the lung is called metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer. It is treated as stage IV breast cancer, not as lung cancer.

Sometimes when people are diagnosed with metastatic cancer, doctors cannot tell where it started. This type of cancer is called cancer of unknown primary origin, or CUP. See the Carcinoma of Unknown Primary page for more information.

Types Of Breast Cancer

Metastatic Liver Cancer Survival Rate

There are several types of breast cancer, and any of them can metastasize. Most breast cancers start in the ducts or lobules and are called ductal carcinomas or lobular carcinomas:

  • Ductal carcinoma. These cancers start in the cells lining the milk ducts and make up the majority of breast cancers.
  • Lobular carcinoma. This is cancer that starts in the lobules, which are the small, tube-like structures that contain milk glands.

Less common types of breast cancer include:

  • Medullary

  • Metaplastic

  • Papillary

  • Inflammatory breast cancer is a faster-growing type of cancer that accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.

  • Pagets disease is a type of cancer that begins in the ducts of the nipple.

Breast cancer can develop in women and men. However, breast cancer in men is rare. Less than 1% of all breast cancers develop in men.

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