Metastatic Breast Cancer

What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic Breast Cancer is an advanced stage cancer in which cancer from the affected breast spreads to other part(s) of the body. The most common breast cancer metastasis sites are the bones, the lungs, the brain, and the liver.


Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer vary in different cancer sites

Metastasis to the bone may cause:

    • Severe, progressive pain
    • Swelling
    • Weakened bones

Metastasis to the brain may cause:

      • Persistent, progressively worsening headache
      • Vomiting or nausea
      • Seizures
      • Vision disturbances
      • Behavioural or personality changes

Metastasis to the liver may cause:

        • Jaundice
        • Abnormally high enzymes in the liver
        • Itchy skin or rash
        • Abdominal pain, appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting

Metastasis to the lungs may cause:

        1. Chronic cough
        2. Chest pain


  • Increasing age
  • Women are much more likely than men
  • Personal history of breast condition such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast
  • History of breast cancer in one breast
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. The most well-known gene mutations passed on from parents to children are BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Beginning your period before 12 years of age
  • Late menopause


  • Radiation exposure to treat any breast disease earlier
  • First childbirth after age 30
  • Having never been pregnant
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obesity


Following preventive measures are known to reduce risk:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Not smoking

How is it diagnosed?

A clinical breast exam, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or biopsy is first done to diagnose the condition. After diagnosis, its stage (I-IV) is identified depending how much it has spread. Stage IV of B...

How is it treated?

There is currently no cure for metastatic breast cancer. The treatment goal mostly is to prolong the patient’s survival while maintaining their quality of life. Various systemic treatment plans are combined for this purpose. Some are local, targ..

  • Surgery

    Surgery to remove the tumor and nearby margins. This is most commonly prescribed. A patient may undergo lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, radical mastectomy, and reconstruction.

  • Radiation therapy / Radiotherapy

    Radiation therapy / Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.

  • Hormone Therapy

    Hormone Therapy - Cancer cells have receptors (proteins) that attach to estrogen and progesterone, which helps them grow. Hormone therapy treatment stops these hormones from attaching to these receptors.

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy uses a combination of drugs to either destroy or slow down the growth of cancer cells.

  • Targeted Therapy

    Targeted Therapy uses drugs to block the growth of cancer cells in specific ways. Targeted drugs sometimes work even when chemo drugs do not.

When do I contact the doctor?

Spreading breast cancer may not produce any specific warning signs. Early detection can prevent worse side effects.

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How does Medanta Provide care?

At Medanta, breast care is approached holistically right from prevention to early screening to treatments. Specialist radiology, surgery, pathology and  oncology services are provided by doctors trained specifically in managing breast disease.

Consult with experienced doctors

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