Are New Treatments For Metastatic Cancer Being Developed
Yes. Researchers are now studying new ways to kill or stop the growth of primary cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells. One new area of research includes ways to boost the strength of the immune response against tumors.
Regulatory T-cells and RANKL proteins may play a role in breast cancer metastasisRecent breast cancer research suggests that the bodys regulatory T cells, which are an integral part of the immune response system, may play a key role in metastasis.
It is speculated that the T cells produce a protein which seems to accelerate the spread of breast cancer cells to other areas of the body. The inflammatory protein RANKL seems to influence the T-cells ability to spread cancer cells to distant areas of the body.
It is believed that by interfering with RANKLs ability to interact with the T-cells, the early metastasis of breast cancer cells can be significantly inhibited
Admit That You Dont Know What I Am Going Through And Dont Pressure Me To Be Positive
What I wish my friends knew is that the internal struggle to deal with all the emotions involved with this disease can be devastating, TeriAngel shares. When I hear someone say but you look amazing or I would never guess you had been through surgery, the fact that they are looking at the physical just shows that they have no clue of the real struggle. They didnt see me on the days when I couldnt get out of bed or puking into a pan by the side of the bed. They didnt hold my hand when the doctor gave the diagnosis and my whole world started crumbling. They didnt hear me screaming at God, at the world, at life to release that built-up steam of emotional turmoil. I wish they would just say I dont know what youve been through but Im here for you now.
Without even realizing it, friends can put you under pressure to be positive and express only optimism. But sometimes thats just not possible, says Community member arolsson: We only get to live life during the three-month intervals between scans. As for how we are really doing, I try to explain it like climate change: things are moving slowly toward catastrophe but there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. I wish I was not expected to be positive or hopeful all the time this is not expected of healthy people!
Signs Of Breast Cancer Include A Lump Or Change In The Breast
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Fluid, other than breast milk, from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola .
- Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peaudorange.
Also Check: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Treatment
Remember That Many People With Mbc Can Live With The Disease For Years
and possibly longer than statistics might lead one to believe. By the time they are published, survival statistics may be outdated due to the introduction of newer and more effective drugs. How long a particular MBC patient lives seems to be mostly dependent on how well their cancer responds to various treatments. Some people also believe that lifestyle may play a helpful role in survival. Many patients who were initially given only months to live by their doctors are still alive years later. Bestbird
Eat Ice Cream Right Now
If not now, when? is the ultimate clichéunless you have MBC, and then its a pretty accurate assessment of your reality. Life has an expiration date for everyone, MBC or not. And so does that carton of Ben & Jerrys. So now might just be the very best time to dig in and celebrate your awesomeness.
Read Also: 3b Breast Cancer
Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Painful
Stage iv metastatic breast cancer can be painful for patients similar to other cancer types. Because the prognosis of metastatic cancer is often less favorable, many patients question is stage 4 breast cancer painful? It depends on several factors such as, where the cancer has and what type of cells are being affected. For example, if the cancer has spread to the bone, patients may experience persistent bone pain. Palliative treatments can be given to patients to help relieve symptoms such as pain. These treatments can include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy.
Myth: There Is No Treatment For Mbc
While metastatic breast cancer, also called Stage IV cancer, is not curable, it is treatable. You cant eliminate the cancer, but you can slow down the progression of the disease, says David Spiegel, M.D., a proessor at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, CA. The range of treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, endocrine therapy, targeted drugs, and immunotherapy. Metastatic breast cancer is different from terminal cancer, which occurs when no more treatment options are effective against a cancer and treatment centers on comfort instead.
Read Also: Stage-three Cancer
Symptoms Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
The symptoms of stage 4 breast cancer depend on the location of the cancer and where it has spread in your body.
- If breast cancer has spread to your bones, you may notice a sudden new bone pain. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to your ribs, spine, pelvis, or arm and leg bones.
- If it has spread to your brain, you may experience headaches, vision or speech changes, or memory problems.
- Breast cancer that has spread to your lungs or liver usually causes no symptoms.
The main treatments for stage 4 breast cancer are targeted drug therapies that destroy cancer cells wherever they are in your body.
These treatments may include:
- hormone therapy, which stops or slows the growth of tumors by preventing your body from producing hormones or interfering with the effect of hormones on breast cancer cells
- chemotherapy, where drugs given orally or through an IV travel through your bloodstream to fight cancer cells
- immunotherapy, which uses drugs that stimulate your immune system to destroy cancer cells
- a combination of these therapies
The following are the common treatment options for different types of stage 4 breast cancer.
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:
Also Check: Malignant Neoplasm Of Breast Treatment
So You Want To Be Cancer Free What Are You Doing About It Minute By Minute Play By Play
You need to imagine your success, visualize what you want, feel it. You must be focused and know exactly what you need to get from here to there. You need to make your goals attainable, broken down by the day if necessary. You need to execute. You should have started already.
What are you doing right now to make your primary end-goal happen? What are you doing to keep this cancer at bay and aim for NED ?
To be honest, I dont have a solution that will guarantee your success with metastatic, triple negative breast cancer. I so wish I did. The truth is, no one does. My personal goal is to collaborate with Louise and multiple professionals, formulating the best strategy and action program that helps Lou defy the odds. A very comprehensive holistic approach that leaves no stone unturned.
The six big pillars that are going to extend Lous life, defy the odds and have her present for Noah and Evies major life milestones are Mind, Exercise, Diet, Professionals, Contemporary Medicine/Treatment, Traditional Medicine and CAM All packaged with the right amount of each ingredient, at the right time.
What To Eat During Breast Cancer Treatment
If you dont have nutrition-related side effects from your cancer treatment that limit your ability to eat and/or digest food, Taylor says you can follow a generally healthy diet that includes:
Fruits and vegetables: 5+ servings a day. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant and anti-estrogen properties. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are especially good to include and are rich in phytochemicals.
Whole grains: 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Whole grains are unprocessed foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, phytochemicals as well as vitamins and minerals. A study by researchers at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, found that high fiber intakes may have a positive effect by altering hormonal actions of breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers.
Alcohol in moderation, if at all. Drinking alcohol is a known risk factor for breast cancer. A large, observational study of 105,986 women suggested that drinking three glasses of wine or more per week throughout life increases a womans risk of breast cancer by a small but significant percentage. The study saw a 15% increased risk of breast cancer when women drank an average of three to six drinks per week, compared to women who did not drink. Try to avoid intake of alcoholic beverages when possible.
Recommended Reading: Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer Stage 1
Finding Social And Emotional Support
Its critical to find a strong source of social support, whether its your friends and family, or a support group with other people with breast cancer. While the journey is challenging, you dont have to navigate stage 4 breast cancer alone.
Your healthcare provider can also provide more information about the specifics of your cancer, treatment options, and support programs in your area. If youre not sure where to look for an in-person group, a counselor or social worker can also help.
Treatment Of Locally Advanced Or Inflammatory Breast Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
- Targeted therapy .
- Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.
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.
Don’t Miss: Stage Of Breast Cancer Survival Rate
Fasting As A Part Of Integrative Approach To Health
Both me and my clients are already using Intermittent Fasting/IF with Caloric Restriction/CR as a part of Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet TKD IF/CR. They all serve as an integral part of Sakharoff Protocol, my own integrative approach to natural healing of lifestyle diseases, inclusive cancer.
When used on top of TKD, Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction are not connected with suffering as in they are in the other diets. Especially after passing through the 1st and the 2nd levels of adaptation, the levels of hunger and satiety hormones are normalised Ghrelin down-regulated and Leptin up-regulated. Entering the fast from the non-keto adapted state is much more hard and demanding. It is prone to be connected with suffering from fighting constant hunger and going through hypoglycemia, especially in the initial stages. It applies to all other diets besides Ketogenic and Zero-carb both vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, low calorie, low fat and different crash-food and other diets.
My thought was that Extended Fasting could also serve as integral part of my Sakharoff Protocol. I would like to introduce my clients to it as a smooth transition from stable ketosis TKD IF/CR zone into the yet stronger healing zone of fasting. Im especially thinking of it as a part of cancer treatment, but also for other lifestyle diseases as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and other conditions.
What Not To Say To Someone With Metastatic Breast Cancer
A 37-year-old wife and mom whos heard it all offers firsthand advice.
Talking with someone whos dealing with a serious illness is never easy, whether you see them every day or much more infrequently.
Well-intentioned people try to come up with something to say to let the person know theyre there for them, and that theyre sorry its happening.
They want to make them feel better. They want to give them the world. Instead, they often end up, unwittingly, saying something hurtful.
I can say this with some authority because, just over a year ago, at age 37, my cancer diagnosis was upgraded to stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, or MBC. For newcomers to the cancer world, that means that the cancer is advanced and has spread to other organs.
In the past year I have also been the recipient of some of the best and worst comments and advice.
So as a member of a club nobody wants to join, Im here to share a few things to never, ever say to someone with MBC, as well as some basic phrases which mean the absolute world to someone like me.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Malignant Neoplasm Of Breast
Create A Legacy Project
Maybe you want to put together a scrapbook, make a photo collage, sketch your family tree, or write letters to loved ones. Its not about saying goodbye, but about reminding yourself of what a rich trove of memories and friendships you have to draw on for strength. Such projects can ease anxiety and improve communication among family members, according to researchers at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Cancer Doesnt Have To Scare You Out Of Enjoying Life
Try not to analyze too much or think about the past and what might have caused your cancer, as that is futile now. At first, its bewildering and theres a lot to learn in a short time, but just take it one step at a time.
There are a lot of stages to go through before you start to realize that life can be good. I know that from where you are right now that might seem strange, but for me, having stage IV cancer with extensive bone mets has focused my mind to what really matters in life.
Dont blame yourself. You did nothing wrong. This is just rotten bad luck.
Learn to be selfish. And by that I mean learn to put yourself first. A lot of women go through life making themselves their last priority. For me, getting sick has taught me that I was there for everyone but myself and that had to change.
Take it one day at a time. Dont look at the future, just take your tablets, turn up for appointments, and between those times find things that make you happy and concentrate on those.
Live in the moment. Each moment is a gift. Appreciate what you have. Dont focus on what youve lost.
This is a lot to process but, believe me you will find that having cancer, frightening as the diagnosis is, doesnt have to scare you out of enjoying life. Leapfrog
Also Check: Prognosis Breast Cancer
Myth #: When Breast Cancer Travels To The Bone Brain Or Lungs It Then Becomes Bone Cancer Brain Cancer Or Lung Cancer
Not true. Breast cancer is still breast cancer, wherever it travels in the body. However, the characteristics of the cells can change over time. For example, a breast cancer that tested negative for hormone receptors or an abnormal HER2 gene might test positive when it moves to another part of the body, or vice versa . Keep in mind that the cancer cells are trying to survive in the body, so they can change, says Dr. Gupta. We always emphasize rechecking the biology.
Improving Your Quality Of Life
Quality of life is a term that is used a lot with metastatic disease, but it should be a common term for others too. I always go by the life motto of, Enjoy life. I do not take this lightly. I know there will come a time where I wont be able to do what I am capable of doing today. This can all drastically change even in a week. Shoot, I could even be dead in a week. Cancer progression is a scary concept. At any point, the cancer can spread to other places or grow bigger in the same locations of the body, such as the lungs, brain, liver, and bones. So, I must do as much as I can while I can, until I cant.
To other people living with metastatic disease, my advice would be to live life on purpose the way you desire. Dont let others place what you should be doing onto you. If you want to eat cake today, eat cake, because tomorrow you may not have an appetite. If you want to travel and the risk is lower and the benefit is higher, then travel.
The only thing guaranteed in this world is death. So, until that day has come for me, Ill live it up and do what gives me joy despite all the everyday stressors. I read daily inspirational writings on how not to care so much what others think of me. I am genuinely me.
Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Stage 2 Breast Cancer