Although it can spread anywhere, breast cancer spreads to the bones in nearly 70 percent of people with metastatic breast cancer, estimates the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. Other common sites are the lungs, liver, and brain. About 6 to 10 percent of breast cancers in the United States are diagnosed at stage 4.
At the U-M Rogel Cancer Center, treatment of bone metastasis takes place in the clinic where the originating cancer is treated. For example, if prostate cancer has metastasized into the bone, it is treated in the Urologic Oncology Clinic. Call the Cancer AnswerLine at for help finding the clinic you need.
Many people who have metastatic breast cancer develop lung metastases. The symptoms can be fairly subtle, and they typically come on slowly, since the cancer has to use up a lot of your lungs before it compromises your breathing. There are a couple of different places the cancer can appear in your lung.
Schoger died of metastatic breast cancer in May. Want to learn more about MBC? That everybody survives cancer now.
What does it mean if your breast cancer spreads metastasizes to your lungs? What kind of symptoms might you expect, and what treatments are available? Whether you're worrying that your cancer may have spread, or if you've learned that it has, you probably have a lot of questions.
Metastasis is a complex process in which malignant cancer cells from the breast spread into other regions of the body. Once metastasis has occurred, it is much more difficult to effectively treat breast cancer. Sometimes metastasis has occurred at the time the original breast cancer is diagnosed. However, in other cases, the metastasis of breast cancer is found months or even years after the initial treatment.
A lung metastasis is life threatening. Few patients survive more than five years after their diagnosis. The anxiety and stress that accompany this illness can often be lessened by joining a support group.