What is metastatic breast cancer? Is it deadly? Can it be avoided? These are all valid questions. Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage four breast cancer, is a fatal form of the illness. Essentially, breast cancer becomes metastatic when it has spread beyond the breast.
However, even at this stage, there is hope, as reports show that there is a chance to improve survival odds with treatment1. Read on to learn more about metastatic breast cancer, its symptoms, and some ways that it is treated.
Where Can Breast Cancer Spread?
Early-stage breast cancer can be effectively treated and has a very high survival rate. However, if the illness develops to it’s later stages, it can damage the lungs, liver, brain, and bones.
What are the Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer?
In the early stages of development, symptoms can be mild, so it is essential to get regular physical exams and check for signs of breast cancer.
All types of metastatic cancer cause extreme fatigue. One can feel drained even after sleeping for eight or more hours a day. Cancer patients get tired from performing simple daily tasks such as walling.
Unintentional Weight Loss
Cancer patients often suffer from loss of appetite. This lack of desire for food will eventually lead to significant weight loss and muscle deterioration.
Many cancer patients become overwhelmed by their situation and fall into depression. If someone feels they need help, it is good to talk to a licensed mental health professional or loved ones.
Liver Metastases (Malignant Growths)
Metastatic breast cancer is known to spread to the liver and cause extreme abdominal pain. One will also experience a constant urge to vomit. The skin may start turning yellow due to the decreased liver function.
For many people, the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer comes after they have experienced a fracture. The illness can weaken bones and make them brittle.
It is least common for metastatic breast cancer to spread to the brain, but it can be the most dangerous. Brain cancer causes seizures, dizziness, and headaches.
Breast cancer can slowly spread to the lungs over many years. It will start with minor symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath, but the symptoms will become more acute over time.
How To Treat Metastatic Breast Cancer?
Chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for breast cancer at any stage. It is the most effective treatment, but it comes at a price. The medicines used for killing cancer in chemotherapy are so potent, they weaken the whole body.
Targeted therapy uses particular medicines to eliminate cancer growth without damaging healthy cells. It is the right solution for some patients, but it does cause blood clotting and high blood pressure.
Radiation therapy is the right solution for metastatic cancer that has affected a larger area of the body. Radiation therapy damages both healthy and cancerous cells in the body, so it is vital to stay healthy. It is best to ask the doctor to give a diet and make sure enough calories are being consumed. 
Surgery is the oldest method of cancer treatment. Doctors can surgically remove cancerous tumors from the body. The most significant risks of surgery are infection and pain.
If someone has breast cancer, they still have a chance at a full recovery. Start by improving the diet and lifestyle habits. Consult a doctor, and choose the best treatment.