Metastatic breast cancer is a tough form to treat. Breast cancer generally starts out as a local population of cancer cells in either the ducts or lobules of the breast tissue. Doctors consider this type of cancer non-invasive and easy to treat if found at level. If not found at this stage, the cancer cells may begin to migrate into breast tissue surrounding the duct or lobule. The treatments become more complicated at this stage. Surgery is a common option at these early stages of breast cancer. Sometimes, the doctor will recommend a series of chemotherapy treatments to make sure the cancer does not spread outside the breast.

Once breast cancer starts to migrate into surrounding breast tissues, the danger of the cancer spreading to other areas of the body actually starts to escalate. If left untreated, the cancer cells have a pretty good chance of spreading into the lymphatic system surrounding the breast tissues. When it reaches that point, the cancer cells will start spreading into other areas of the body quite quickly. The cancer cells will begin settling and reproducing on other organs of the body. At that point, the cancer qualifies for the name, metastatic breast cancer. And at that point, treatment options become complicated.

With early stages of breast cancer, surgery and chemotherapy oftentimes work quite well. However, as the lymph nodes get involved, the spread of the cancer is the problem. With current treatment options, it is sometimes complicated to find and reduce all the cancer cells throughout the body. Surgery works to remove the masses near the breasts. Chemotherapy can help eliminate some of the cancer cells. Local areas may see treatment with radiation or hormones. But, the prognosis of metastatic breast cancer is not a good one. The average rate of survival at that stage of cancer is two years or less.

One thing that everyone must know is that a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is not the end. There are standard and alternative treatments that are able to prolong life. New medical treatments are under research. Those that go through treatment often find themselves outliving those that chose to bypass treatment.

And there isn’t any such thing as a definite death sentence with this form of cancer. A number the right combinations of treatments that help them live longer productive lives. The worst enemy in this battle is a lack of hope. Educate yourself if you receive this diagnosis.

Raphaelo is medical student; he enjoys talking about medical related topics. To learn more about metastatic breast cancer, please visit

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