Widespread (Metastatic) Breast Cancer

Breast cancer may spread to the bones, brain, lungs and liver. Hormonal treatment and chemotherapy are the main treatments in such cases. New chemotherapy drugs, such as Taxol, Taxotere and Xeloda, have recently been developed and are effective in women with metastatic breast cancer.

Women with metastatic breast cancer that contains special proteins called HER2 or c-erbB2 can be treated with Herceptin and Pertuzumab, which usually lack most of the serious side-effects of chemotherapy, prevent tumour growth. It can be used as a back up to standard chemotherapy.

Bisphosphonates such as Zometa and Donusumab are used to treat bony metastatics.

Fluid accumulation around the lungs and stomach can be drained to relieve any discomfort. Tumour deposits in the bones can be treated with radiotherapy and/or drugs. Cancer that has spread into the brain can be treated with steroids and radiotherapy. Pain can be controlled with several types of drug, including those that are aspirin based, and morphine. Some of the stronger painkillers can cause constipation and nausea, so laxatives and anti-nausea drugs may need to be taken as well.

For more information on that surgical management of the tumour in the breast in patients with stage 4 breast cancer from articles written by Professor K Mokbel