What Happens When Breast Cancer Spreads To The Bones – Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the cells of the breast. It can metastasize (spread) from the breast to other parts of the body, such as the bones and liver.
Most early symptoms of breast cancer include changes in the breast. Some of them are more striking than others.
What Happens When Breast Cancer Spreads To The Bones
In general, it’s important to see your doctor if you experience any changes in your breasts. The earlier breast cancer is found, the less likely it is to spread and cause life-threatening damage.
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At first, breast cancer affects only the breast area. You may notice changes in the breasts themselves. Other symptoms are not obvious until you notice them during a self-examination.
Sometimes, your doctor can also see breast cancer tumors on mammograms or other imaging machines before you notice symptoms.
Like other cancers, breast cancer is divided into stages. Stage 0 is the earliest stage when symptoms are least noticeable. Stage IV indicates that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
If breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it can cause symptoms in those specific areas as well. Affected areas may include:
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Causes
, the most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or lump in the breast.
The lump or bump is usually irregular in shape and painless. However, some cancerous lumps may be painful and round. That’s why
Invasive ductal carcinoma causes lumps and lumps in the breast. This is a type of breast cancer that forms inside the milk ducts.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This accounts for approximately 80% of all diagnoses. It’s also more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
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Invasive lobular carcinoma can cause breast thickening. This type of breast cancer starts in the glands that produce breast milk. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that as many as 15 percent of breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas.
You may notice a change in the color or size of your breasts. They may also become red or swollen with cancerous tumors. While breast cancer itself is usually not painful, the resulting swelling can cause breast pain. However, in some cases, cancerous lumps can still cause pain.
Even if you’re not currently breastfeeding, you may see a noticeable discharge from your nipples. Sometimes there is a small amount of blood in the discharge. The nipple itself can also turn inward.
In addition to changes in the breast itself, breast cancer can also affect the skin around the breast. It can be very itchy, and it can become dry and cracked.
Where Breast Cancer Spreads: Common Sites Of Metastasis
Some women also have dimples in the skin of their breasts that look like orange peel pits. Thickening of breast tissue is also common in breast cancer.
In advanced stages of breast cancer, the tumor has spread to other lymph nodes. The underarms are some of the first areas to be affected. This is because of how close they are to the chest. You may feel tenderness and swelling under the arm.
Due to the lymphatic system, other lymph nodes may be affected. While this system is normally responsible for carrying healthy lymph (fluid) throughout the body, it can also spread cancerous tumors.
Tumors can spread to the lungs and liver through the lymphatic system. If the lungs are affected, you may experience:
Symptoms Of Her2+ Metastatic Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may also spread to muscle and bone. You may experience pain and limited movement in these areas.
Your joints may feel stiff, especially when you just wake up or stand up after sitting for a long time.
This impact can also increase the risk of injury from reduced mobility. Fractures are also a risk.
Breast cancer can also spread to the brain. This can lead to a number of neurological effects, including:
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It is important to have timely mammograms and other types of breast screening, as recommended by your doctor. Imaging tests can detect breast cancer before you have any symptoms. This can speed up your healing and produce more positive results.
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Our experts continuously monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Your doctor may start talking to you about your lymph nodes soon after you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. Lymph node involvement is an important part of breast cancer staging and treatment.
This article will help explain what it means for breast cancer to spread to the lymph nodes, how it affects the stage of the cancer, and the types of treatments commonly used.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: What Is It, Symptoms, Treatment & Outcome
You have hundreds of lymph nodes throughout your body. Your lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which in turn is part of the immune system.
Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that contain immune cells that help fight infection. They are connected by the lymphatic system, which carries fluid throughout your body. As fluid passes through your lymph nodes, they filter out harmful substances.
Cancer spreads when cancer cells break away from the primary tumor. In breast cancer, these cells are most likely to reach the lymph nodes closest to the affected breast.
Usually these nodes are in the armpit, but there are also clusters of lymph nodes near the collarbone and breastbone.
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Those closest to your breasts are called sentinel nodes. Lymph nodes under the armpit are called axillary lymph nodes.
Even if cancer has reached nearby lymph nodes, it doesn’t mean it has spread to other areas. But cancers that reach the lymphatic system or blood are more likely to metastasize to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes can be treated more aggressively than breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes.
The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that has not reached nearby lymph nodes is 99 percent, compared with 86 percent when it reaches nearby lymph nodes.
Breast Cancer Skeletal Metastases
After an initial diagnosis of cancer, you need to know if it has spread beyond the original tumor. If your lymph nodes are swollen, your doctor may order a needle biopsy. Otherwise, lymph nodes can be checked during breast surgery.
After surgery, you will have more detailed information about your breast tissue and lymph nodes. This information helps determine the stage of pathology.
Stages of breast cancer There are four stages of breast cancer. When lymph nodes are involved, it’s at least stage 2. Metastatic breast cancer is stage 4.
You may not notice that some cancer cells reach the lymph nodes. Symptoms may include a lump or swelling in the armpit or around the collarbone as the number of cancer cells increases.
Where Metastatic Breast Cancer Can Spread In The Body
Even if you don’t notice a breast lump, your lymph nodes may be swollen. There are also noncancerous conditions that can cause lymph nodes in the area near the breast to swell.
If you notice swollen lymph nodes but have no other symptoms or signs, see your doctor.
Radiation therapy is usually given after surgery, especially if there is lymph node involvement. It can target specific lymph nodes, tumors, or areas where tumors have been surgically removed.
Radiation therapy is aimed at cancer cells that may still be present in certain areas, such as lymph nodes or tissue close to the removed tumor.
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Radiation therapy can damage the DNA of cancer cells, helping to destroy them. It does not target your whole body like chemotherapy, so there is less risk of damaging healthy cells.
Lymph node dissection is a surgical procedure that involves removing lymph nodes near the tumor. A tissue sample of the lymph nodes is then checked for signs of cancer cells.
But missing lymph nodes can lead to a buildup of lymph fluid, a condition called lymphedema. The risk of lymphedema increases with the number of lymph nodes removed. Once it develops, this can become a long-term problem.
Showing axillary lymph nodes (lymph nodes under the arm) do not always need to be removed, even if the cancer is in the sentinel lymph nodes (those closest to the breast). This applies to women with early-stage breast cancer who have had a lumpectomy.
Timing Of Metastasis In Breast Cancer
Looking back at the 10-year results, the study found that removal of the sentinel lymph nodes alone did not affect survival compared with axillary lymph node dissection.
Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy when lymph nodes are involved or when the cancer has the potential to spread beyond the lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy may be a good option for very aggressive cancers or those that are negative for hormones and HER2 receptors.
Hormone therapy can block estrogen receptors or lower estrogen levels. It may be an effective treatment option for breast cancers with hormone receptor estrogen-positive (ER+) status.
Where Breast Cancer Spreads
Targeted therapies tend to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells better than chemotherapy. Thus, these therapies can damage cancer cells while limiting damage to normal cells.
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