Oncologists Wants You to Know These 7 Things About Metastatic Breast Cancer

It’s important to know everything you can about cancer.

Breast cancer is a truly awful thing. I mean, all cancer is awful, obviously, but breast cancer especially, as it targets a part of a woman’s body that is prominent, intimate, and important. It is important to arm yourself with knowledge when it comes to things like cancer, because the sooner you can recognize the signs, the sooner you can take action toward treatment. Breast cancer can be caught before it becomes truly dangerous, but you have to know what you’re looking for. With that in mind, courtesy of SELF and Dr. Elizabeth Comen of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, here are a few things you should know about metastatic breast cancer.

-Metastatic breast cancer, as opposed to regular breast cancer, is when breast cancer cells travel to other parts of the body, like the lungs, heart, etc. Bear in mind, breast cancer cells in your lungs, for example, don’t become lung cancer. They’re still breast cancer, and that’s important to know, because treatment for different kinds of cancers differs.

-Metastatic breast cancer can present in many different ways, and at multiple times. Breast cancer cells can lie dormant, even after malignant cells have been dealt with, which is why symptoms can resurface years down the line.

-Pain is extremely important to address. Different kinds of pain can indicate different kinds and levels of metastatic breast cancer, and one’s personal levels of stress can influence this.

-No two cases of metastatic breast cancer are quite the same. Again, stress is a factor here; physical and emotional fatigue can make different treatments more or less difficult, so be sure to tell your doctor about what’s currently going on in your life.

-Speaking of your doctor, your doctor is going to be your most important ally. You want to make sure your doctor is someone you like, trust, and is willing to explore all treatment opportunities.

-Breast cancer treatments are constantly evolving. Certain mutations in breast cancer cells could make a patient eligible for newer targeted therapies that could be more effective for them personally. Cancer may change and mutate, but medical science is always hot on its tail.

-As important as medicine is to this process, you can’t neglect your daily self. Try to make sure you’re still eating well during the process, exercise whenever you can, and don’t be afraid to speak to a therapist if you’re feeling emotionally compromised. Cancer treatment can be a very trying process, so try to remember the things that make you happy and hold them close.

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