Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October, so now is an excellent opportunity to learn more about metastatic breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, after skin cancer.
What you should know about breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
Breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is known as metastatic breast cancer. It may be visible at the time of the first breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, or it may appear as recurrent breast cancer months or years later. A second opinion can help ensure that your treatment plan is the best option for your cancer if you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It’s possible that a second opinion will confirm your original diagnosis and treatment plan. This can provide you with a sense of security. A second opinion may also give you with further information about your breast cancer and various treatment choices to explore. It’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t want to seek a second opinion. You may decide to forego a second opinion if you trust your health care provider’s judgement or if you’ve done your research on your cancer and are confident in your treatment plan. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer for the first time or a previously treated breast cancer has recurred or progressed to this advanced stage, treatment for metastatic breast cancer will likely differ significantly from treatment for early-stage breast cancer.
Depending on your situation and choices, the goals and severity of your treatment options will vary. Knowing what you want from treatment will help you make better treatment choices. It’s crucial to talk to your doctor and loved ones about your treatment goals. Dr. Timothy Moynihan, an emeritus Mayo Clinic medical oncologist, offers advise on what to talk about and how to start the conversation. Living with metastatic breast cancer is stressful, and treatment side effects can impair your quality of life. Palliative care can aid in the management of your symptoms, allowing you to feel better both physically and emotionally. Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, dementia, kidney failure, and stroke are among the health problems for which palliative care is provided. When you’re dealing with a serious illness, palliative care can help you and your family feel better. Discuss the advantages of palliative care and the services provided by your health-care organisation with your doctor. Having a support system can help you get through this challenging period. Your health care team, friends and family, and online forums with others who share your fears and concerns are all good places to look for help. What works best for you is determined by your personality as much as your circumstances.
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