Can You Do Anything To Prevent Or Slow The Spread Of Breast Cancer
Like any type of cancer, there are factors that can put you at higher risk. For breast cancer, these include things like smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and not performing monthly self-breast exams. Its also important to make sure and get your annual mammogram for breast cancer screening.
Other risk factors can include using hormone-based prescriptions, how many children youve had in the past, getting older and at what age you got your period and went through menopause.
In some instances, you cant necessarily prevent breast cancer, but you can sometimes slow it down, stop it from spreading or reduce the size of the tumor, says Dr. Roesch. You can do this by taking your medications as directed, following through with treatments, going to your appointments and being involved in your cancer care.
Youre in control of taking your medication correctly, eating a healthy diet, participating in an exercise program and managing stress. All of these things can contribute to a stronger physical body and better mental attitude both of which can have a positive impact on your breast cancer diagnosis.
Diagnosis Of Secondary Breast Cancer
You may be diagnosed with secondary breast cancer after having tests to check a new symptom. This could be through your GP or at a breast cancer follow-up clinic. Sometimes there may be no obvious symptoms and the diagnosis is made after routine follow-up tests.
Some women who have just been diagnosed with primary breast cancer have tests that show the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes the secondary breast cancer is diagnosed first and tests show that it first started in the breast.
Your cancer doctor or nurse will ask you about your symptoms and general health. You may need some of the following tests:
Thermal Ablation Or Cryoablation
Thermal ablation or cryoablation can be used alone or in combination with surgery. These procedures involve destroying cancer cells by either heating or freezing them. For example, radiofrequency ablation involves inserting a needle into individual tumours in the liver and destroying them with heat. RFA is a specialist treatment and not widely available. Your treatment team can tell you if it may be suitable for you.
Don’t Miss: Estrogen Dominant Breast Cancer
Diagnosing Metastatic Breast Cancer
Getting a clear picture of where breast cancer has spread is essential for creating a personalized treatment plan. Your care team will likely use a combination of the following tests and tools to diagnose both localized and advanced breast cancer:
Ultrasound exam: With this imaging technique, sound waves create a picture of internal areas of the body.
Magnetic resonance imaging : This procedure produces detailed images using magnetic fields and radio waves.
Blood chemistry studies: A blood sample is taken to measure the amounts of certain substances that are released by your organs and tissues. A higher or lower amount of a particular substance may be a sign of disease.
Breast biopsy: A biopsy is the removal of cells or tissues so a pathologist may view them through a microscope. Your original breast cancer diagnosis was likely confirmed with a biopsy.
Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer
Treating cancer of the pancreas typically involves a combination of procedures. If the cancer can be removed surgically, treatment may also include chemotherapy after the operation.
Targeted therapy options are a newer type of treatment. Targeted therapies use medications that attack certain characteristics of cancer cells. These medications are often delivered intravenously.
The goal of targeted therapy is to limit the cells ability to multiply. Many targeted therapies are still in the clinical trial phase. This means that theyre being studied but arent yet available to the general public.
Theres hope that these therapies prove to be beneficial options since they have the potential to target and treat an individuals specific tumor cells.
Don’t Miss: Did Anne Hathaway Have Cancer
Exploring The Epigenetics Of Metastasis
In addition, the investigators explored the mechanisms by which the CXCR4 and CYTIP genes are switched on in kidney cancer cells to incite metastasis. Their study revealed that the genes undergo a series of epigenetic changes modifications in the proteins that package a cells DNA and regulate genes.
Unlike gene mutations, which alter a cells genetic code, epigenetic changes leave the DNA sequence unaffected. Nevertheless, such changes can influence a cells behavior by switching individual genes on or off.
Epigenetic modifications are commonly seen in many types of cancer and have recently been associated with more-advanced disease. However, little is known about the specific genes and mechanisms by which tumor cells may reconfigure their epigenetic makeup, causing a persons disease to progress and establish itself in new organs.
Our study has demonstrated with clear examples how epigenetic alterations can lead to the activation of metastasis-inducing genes, Dr. Vanharanta notes. This is a conceptual advancement that is likely to help us understand how metastasis occurs in kidney cancer as well as in other cancer types.
What Does The Research Say About Biopsies Spreading Cancer
Every medical procedure carries risks. Biopsies carry a small risk of bleeding and infection. In recent studies, scientists have worked to quantify the risks and benefits of biopsies in an effort to better inform patients and fellow physicians.
Several studies and reports of individual cases confirm that tumor seeding only very rarely occurs, and that the benefits of biopsies far outweigh the risks. For example, a 2008 review in the journal Gutshowed that needle track seeding occurred in 2.7% of liver cancer biopsies. In a 2015 BJU International study, however, researchers reviewed previous studies and found that the incidence of needle track seeding was low . In a 2013 study in Endoscopy, researchers found no difference in cancer recurrence in 256 patients with pancreatic cancer who did and did not receive biopsies. Then, in a later 2015 study in Gut, the same researchers found that biopsies were not associated with an increased risk of dying in a database of 2,034 Medicare patients with pancreatic cancer. More recently, in a 2019 study in Urology, researchers found that the core needle biopsy technique was safe and effective in 42 patients with bladder cancer and that seeding did not occur after 28 months of follow-up.
Overall, while it is not impossible for needle seeding to occur during a biopsy, it is rare.
You May Like: Progesterone Negative Breast Cancer
Intrahepatic Chemotherapy And Chemoembolisation
Intrahepatic chemotherapy and chemoembolisation involve giving chemotherapy directly into the liver. This is done through a thin tube, called a catheter, into the main blood supply to the liver.
Giving chemotherapy directly into the liver means a higher concentration of the drug can be delivered to the area of cancer.
In chemoembolisation, the chemotherapy is delivered along with an oily liquid or foam which blocks the blood supply to the cancer. The cancer is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, and the chemotherapy stays in the area for longer. The liver continues to be supplied with blood in the normal way.
These treatments may not be routinely available on the NHS but may be offered as part of a clinical trial.
How Fast Does Kidney Cancer Spread
As with many other types of cancer, several factors determine how fast kidney cancer can spread. Your age, overall health and the type of kidney cancer all play a role in whether the disease is fast- or slow-growing.
The spread pattern depends on how aggressive the cells are, says Saby George, MD, FACP, Department of Medicine. The most common type of kidney cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma, can have various subtypes within it. There are two subtypes, sarcomatoid and rhabdoid, that can spread very quickly and cause havoc throughout the body.
Read Also: Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer Terminal
What Are Biopsies And Why Do I Need One
Biopsies are the most common way that doctors diagnose cancer. During a biopsy, a doctor takes a small piece of tissue, called a sample, from a suspected tumor or area of concern. Then, a pathologist looks at it under a microscope to make a diagnosis. A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in interpreting laboratory tests and evaluating cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose disease, including cancer.
There are many different techniques for collecting a biopsy. For example, in a fine needle aspiration biopsy, the doctor inserts a needle attached to a syringe into the suspicious area to collect a small amount of tissue for diagnosis. In an excisional biopsy, the doctor removes the entire suspicious mass for examination.
Properly performed, biopsies often provide essential information to help diagnose, stage, and inform clinical decision-making for patients with suspected or known cancer. Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, FACS, professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology in the Division of Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Cancer.Net Editorial Board member.
Can I Lower My Risk Of Getting A Second Cancer
There’s no sure way to prevent all cancers, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. Getting the recommended early detection tests, as mentioned above, is one way to do this.
Its also important to stay away from tobacco products. Smoking increases the risk of many cancers, including some of the second cancers seen after breast cancer.
To help maintain good health, breast cancer survivors should also:
Also Check: Lumpectomy And Chemo
Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment
When cancer has spread to other parts of the body, oncologists usually recommend systemic treatment, which can destroy abnormal cells in multiple locations. Depending on the specifics of a patients diagnosis, surgery may or may not be recommended.
Moffitt Cancer Center provides a complete range of breast cancer treatments through the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program. This includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, as well as immunotherapy, hormone therapy and supportive care. Patients with metastatic breast cancer may also consider enrolling in a clinical trial at Moffitt to expand their options even further.
If youd like to request an appointment, call or submit a new patient registration form online. Referrals are welcome, but never required.
Integrative Therapies For Metastatic Breast Cancer
You may find it beneficial to add integrative therapies to your treatment plan. There are many evidence-informed integrative modalities to boost the mind and body. Practices like gentle yoga, meditation, massage and music therapy may feel enjoyable and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
To help our patients maintain quality of life after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis, our team of breast cancer experts may offer supportive care services to help manage side effects of the disease and its treatments. These may include:
You May Like: Stage 2 3 Breast Cancer
What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastasis is the process by which cancer cells spread. In the case of metastatic breast cancer, the cancer originated in breast tissue, then spread to other parts of the body.
Metastatic cancer is further described as local, regional or distant, depending on the location of the cancer cells in relation to the original tumor.
- Localized metastatic breast cancer often means the breast cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- The more distant locations include the bones, lungs, skin, liver and brain, although its possible for other parts of the body to be affected.
Its important to remember that every cancer is unique and that your experience may not necessarily be the same as that of another breast cancer patient. With a personalized treatment plan, metastatic breast cancer is typically treatable. A recent National Cancer Institute study found that the number of U.S. women living longer with distant metastatic breast cancer is growing, thanks to advances in treatments.
Its also important to prepare yourself with information about the disease, its symptoms and how its detected and treated.
What Treatments May I Be Offered
Treatment for secondary breast cancer in the liver aims to relieve symptoms and slow down the growth of the cancer.
Treatments can be given alone or in combination.
When making decisions about how best to treat you, your treatment team will consider factors such as:
- how extensive the cancer is within the liver
- whether the cancer has spread to other organs
- any symptoms you have
- what treatment youve had in the past
- the features of the cancer
- whether youve been through the menopause
- your general health
Your specialist should discuss any recommendations for treatment with you and take into account your wishes. Theyll talk with you about your options, explain what the aim of your treatment will be and help you weigh up the potential benefits against the possible side effects you may have.
If you had a biopsy or surgery for primary breast cancer, the tissue removed will have been tested to see if it is ER+. However, in some people the oestrogen receptors change during the development of secondary breast cancer. Because of this, your doctor may discuss performing a biopsy to retest for hormone receptors.
Recommended Reading: Breast Cancer Metastasis Prognosis
Second Cancers After Breast Cancer
Breast cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.
Women whove had breast cancer can still get other cancers. Although most breast cancer survivors dont get cancer again, they are at higher risk for getting some types of cancer, including:
- A second breast cancer
- Salivary gland cancer
- Melanoma of the skin
- Acute myeloid leukemia
The most common second cancer in breast cancer survivors is another breast cancer. The new cancer can occur in the opposite breast, or in the same breast for women who were treated with breast-conserving surgery .
Treatment For Metastatic Cancer
There are treatments for most types of metastatic cancer. Often, the goal of treating metastatic cancer is to control it by stopping or slowing its growth. Some people can live for years with metastatic cancer that is well controlled. Other treatments may improve the quality of life by relieving symptoms. This type of care is called palliative care. It can be given at any point during treatment for cancer.
The treatment that you may have depends on your type of primary cancer, where it has spread, treatments youve had in the past, and your general health. To learn about treatment options, including clinical trials, find your type of cancer among the PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries for Adult Treatment and Pediatric Treatment.
You May Like: Estrogen Responsive Breast Cancer
Symptoms Of Endometrial Cancer
Like most cancers, endometrial cancers may be silent at first. Some women only experience symptoms when this cancer has spread to other organs. In most women, this cancer is detected in its early stages while it is still growing. It often presents symptoms like vaginal bleeding or discharge. These symptoms …
Can You Tell When Exactly My Breast Cancer Started
Often times, one of the most frequently asked questions I get when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer is when did it begin? says Roesch. And the general rule is that we really cant tell for sure when the cancer popped up. We can look at the subtype of breast cancer to perhaps get a better understanding if it was weeks vs. months for example, but theres no way to tell for sure.
You May Like: Youngest Age To Have Breast Cancer
Cancers Linked To Radiation Treatment
Lung cancer: The risk of lung cancer is higher in women who had radiation therapy after a mastectomy as part of their treatment. The risk is even higher in women who smoke. The risk does not seem to be increased in women who have radiation therapy to the breast after a lumpectomy.
Sarcoma: Radiation therapy to the breast also increases the risk of sarcomas of blood vessels , bone , and other connective tissues in areas that were treated. Overall, this risk is low.
Certain blood cancers: Breast radiation is linked to a higher risk of leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome . Overall, though, this risk is low.
Symptoms Of Secondary Breast Cancer
The symptoms of secondary breast cancer depend on where in the body the cancer has spread to. If it has spread to the bones there might be a painful area in a bone. If it has spread to a lung it may cause breathlessness.
Some people have general symptoms. They may feel generally unwell for no obvious reason. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any new symptoms. If you are worried, we have more information about the symptoms of secondary breast cancer.
Also Check: Chest Cancer In Female
Symptoms Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer may be different than those of early-stage breast cancer, but not always. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all.
You should always speak with your doctor if you experience any new signs or symptoms, but here are some of the most common signs that breast cancer has spread:
- Bone pain or bone fractures due to tumor cells spreading to the bones or spinal cord
- Headaches or dizziness when cancer has spread to the brain
- Shortness of breath or chest pain, caused by lung cancer
- Jaundice or stomach swelling
The symptoms of breast cancer metastasis may also vary depending on where in the body the cancer has spread. For example:
- 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 cancer has spread to bones, symptoms may include pain, fractures or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
- If the cancer has spread to the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain or fatigue.
- If the cancer has spread to the liver, symptoms may include nausea, fatigue, swelling of the feet and hands or yellowing skin.
- If cancer has spread to the central nervous system, which includes the brain or spinal cord, symptoms may include pain, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with and/or movement or seizures.
Dont Miss: Can Biting Breasts Cause Cancer