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Metastatic Breast Cancer in Liver by Ogulbyabek Annayeva

By at December 15, 2012 | 9:37 am | Print

Metastatic breast cancer in liver is breast cancer that has spread from its original site, which is breast to liver.  The liver is the second most common area the breast cancer spreads to, the first being the bones. The breast cancer that matures where it first started in the breast is so-called the primary cancer. The place where it spreads to which is the liver and begins growing there is called the secondary cancer. The secondary cancer can also be referred to as metastasis. This type of cancer considered being a stage four cancer. Even if the breast cancer spreads to liver it will still be treated as breast cancer and not liver cancer. It will be still a breast cancer because the cancer cells that have spread to liver are commonly found breast cancer cells. I will deliberate how the metastatic breast cancer spreads in the body, what treatment can be used to cure this cancer and life expectancy of this type of cancer.

One of the ways breast cancer can spread in the human body is through lymphatic system.  When this happens the cancer cells separate from the major area of breast cancer and travel in circulating lymph fluid. The breast cancer cells can travel and start dividing in nearly any part of the human body. Cancer cells travel until they get stuck in small channels inside lymph node and when that happens they start to divide and multiply to develop new tumor.  The second way breast cancer cells can spread through the human body is through blood circulation. Similarity to the spread through lymphatic system during the spreading through blood circulation the breast cancer cells firsts break off from the original cancer. Then the breast cancer cells pass across the wall of the blood vessel to get in to the bloodstream.  Once the breast cancer cell is in blood stream it can travel to any area of the body and start to divide and create secondary tumor called micrometastases.

The treatment for metastatic breast cancer will vary depending on the primary cancer, on the location of the cancer, the size of the cancer, and the general health of the person and their condition. Nevertheless, the first step starts with therapy that involves medications. Most commonly metastatic breast cancer would be treated with systemic therapy; because once it spreads it is in the body and can spread more, that’s why the local therapy will not benefit in this case anymore. Treating metastatic cancer by local therapy such as surgery will only make the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, metastatic breast cancer must be treated with systemic therapy. Some examples of systemic therapies include chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy and hormonal therapy.

Life expectancy for metastatic breast cancer is very low. The years go down, as the stage of the cancer goes up. Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced form of breast cancer. Therefore, not very many people survive or live long with this cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, the five years or less survival is predicted of a patient diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  Nevertheless, the life expectancy is going up year by year due to many new advanced treatments.

References

Breast cancer organization

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/recur_metast/ask_expert/conf_2007_10/question_02

Brain Metsbc

http://www.brainmetsbc.org/en/content/what-metastatic-breast-cancer

Breast Cancer Resource Directory of North Carolina

http:// bcresourcedirectory.org/directory/03-advanced_breast_cancer.htm

 

National Cancer Institute

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/metastatic

 

Cancer Research UK

http://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/grow/how-a-cancer-spreads#local

 

Oxford University Press

http://jjco.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/8/390.full

 

 

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  1. […] breast cancer in the early stages can be life saving.  A clinical breast exam (CBE) is recommended for all women […]


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