Ask the Experts: Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

When breast cancer metastasizes, it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones or brain. In this video, Darria Long Gillespie, MD, discusses the pain and other symptoms that occur with metastatic breast cancer.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] The majority of women first diagnosed with breast cancer
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have early-stage disease limited to the breast or nearby lymph nodes. However, 6% have distance-spread, or metastasis,
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found when they first learn they have cancer. For anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis, there's also a chance that the disease will later
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return in another part of the body, becoming Stage 4, or metastatic. We're fortunate to have treatments
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that did not exist even a few years ago, and survival rates are improving. In fact, more than a third of women
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living with metastatic breast cancer now live longer than five years, and some live 10 years or more.
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In fact, in 2014, there were more than three million women living with breast cancer in the United States.
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The most common places were breast cancer can spread the bones, lungs, brain, or liver. The symptoms differ based on the location in the body.
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In the bones, symptoms include severe progressive pain, swelling, or bones that are more easily fractured or broken.
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Metastasis in the brain include symptoms of worsening headaches, problems with vision, vomiting or nausea, and seizures.
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If breast cancer has spread to the liver, the symptoms might include jaundice, a rash or itchy skin, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
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Signs of metastasis in the lungs include a chronic cough or inability to get a full breath, or chest pain.
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Other metastatic breast cancer symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. But since other things may also cause these,
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it's best to discuss any symptoms with your doctor and get treatment right away.

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