Breast cancer is emerging as a dangerous disease that kills many women every year. The cancer is mostly detected when it has passed the first stage and treatment method mostly involves surgery like mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation treatment and chemotherapy.
Advanced stages of breast cancer when the cancer has entered the lymph nodes and have metastasised to other organs mostly the lungs, bones and the liver require a much more rigorous treatment regime which may or may not yield results.
Breast cancer metastasis is a serious condition as it is in stage four of breast cancer. The only treatment method in this stage is to help the patient prolong the life and reduce the growth of the cancer. Treatment is systemic where the whole body is targeted using chemotherapy medications and radiation.
Treatment For Metastasis Of The Lungs
Metastasis of the lungs is very common with up to 19 percent of the metastasis affecting the lungs. This condition cannot be cured and treatment options are limited as well. The only treatment at this stage is radiation therapy where the tumour growth can be slowed down to a certain extent and breathing made easy for the patient.
Pain control with pain medications too is done to offer some respite. The care given is mainly palliative as there is no hope for a recovery for lung metastasis. Systemic treatments like chemotherapy may also be administered to the patient to make the tumour size less and provide some relief.
Treatment For Bone Metastasis
With bone metastasis, there will be loss of bone mass and hence treatment involves drug therapy and other methods for minimising the growth of the tumour. Bone pain and the likelihood of fractures with simple activities increase with bone metastasis. This too can be kept under control through the use of bisphosphonates.
This treatment helps in increasing the quality of life of the patient suffering from bone metastasis. The administration of bisphosphonates helps in decreasing the growth of cancer and helps the body in the maintenance of calcium levels in the blood. It can also prevent the damage caused to the bone to a certain extent.
Treatment For Liver Metastasis
Liver metastasis is the only type of metastasis where some hope can be harboured by way of surgery. Liver has great regenerative quality and surgical removal of even 80 percent of the liver is possible and the organ grows back to its original size within a matter of weeks.
But due to the fact that the cancer has not originated from the liver, even a surgery may not be a sure cut way towards complete recovery as the cancer can surface again in the liver and other parts as well due to the metastasis.
Apart from chemotherapy, there are other systemic treatment methods like hormone therapy which helps in hormone receptive breast cancers. The estrogen which can aggravate the breast cancer in such cases will be kept blocked with the help of estrogen blockers to slow down the growth of cancer. Herceptin is a drug that is used for blocking the chemicals that help in the growth of the cancer.