Metastic breast cancer is classified as stage IV breast cancer that spreads to other organs of the body. All breast cancers start in the tissues of the breast, when breast cells grow out of control. The symptoms depend on where the cancer is and how large it is. The most common places for breast cancer to spread are within the breast or to the nearby chest wall or to the liver, lungs, or bones. Common symptoms include a lump in your breast or on your chest wall, bone pain, and shortness of breath. Or you may not have any symptoms. Sometimes recurrent or metastatic breast cancer is found with an X-ray or a lab test. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer includes many of the same treatments as other stages of breast cancer:
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Most women with early stage cancer will have surgery during the course of their treatment.
Now, many are also candidates for a variety of systemic therapies, either before or after surgery, to reduce the number of potentially microscopic cancer cells