When breast cancer spreads, it is defined as metastatic breast cancer. It spreads through the blood vessels or the lymphatic system. It most commonly spreads to the liver, bones and lungs. The signs and symptoms that breast cancer has spread heavily depends on the patient.
There are some symptoms of breast cancer that patients experience regardless of where it spreads. These include unusual fatigue, feeling sick or under the weather, low energy and poor appetite, according to CancerHelp.org.
If breast cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, there are certain symptoms a patient may experience. These can include underarm swelling that can get painful as the swelling increases. There are lymph nodes all throughout the body, such as around the collarbone and behind the breastbone, and swelling can occur anywhere there are lymph nodes if the cancer has spread to them, according to CancerHelp.org.
If breast cancer spreads to the bones, the patient can experience pain, and this pain can become quite severe for some patients. According to CancerHelp.org, when the pain gets severe, it can become difficult for the patient to move around and sleep. Cancer can also lead to increased bone weakness, which can result in breaks for some patients. If calcium is released into the blood by bone cells, patients can experience fatigue, confusion, nausea, irritability, constipation and thirst.
If breast cancer spreads to the liver, the patient may experience right side abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea and a swollen abdomen. If the cancer causes liver swelling or presses on the covering of the liver, the patient can experience pain. According to CancerHelp.org, some patients may also experience jaundice.
If breast cancer spreads to the lungs, the patient may have a cough or notice that they become short of breath easily. According to CancerHelp.org, patients may also experience other breathing problems, a buildup of fluid in the lungs and discomfort when they breathe.
According to CancerHelp.org, if breast cancer spreads to the brain, patients may experience headaches that can make them feel sick, have abnormal behavioral issues, experience memory problems and experience a part of their body not functioning normally. Though rare, patient may also experience problems with their eyesight.
- Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
Advanced Breast Cancer Symptoms
Advanced breast cancer is called metastatic breast cancer. This means that the breast cancer disease has spread beyond the breast to other...
What to Expect With Lung Cancer Stage 3
Stage 3 lung cancer describes one of the four main stages of the progression of lung cancer. Stage 3 lung cancer is...
Breast Cancer & Brain Metastasis Life Expectancy
Brain metastasis from brain cancer refers to the stage of cancer in which the breast cancer has spread from the breast to...
Prognosis of Breast Cancer That has Spread to the Lungs
Making a breast cancer prognosis isn't always a simple cut-and-dried process. This is also true for breast cancer that has spread to...
Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Lymph Nodes
When breast cancer has moved into the lymph nodes a lump may be felt in the underarm area. This is the only...
Symptoms of Breast Cancer Metastisis to Lung
Breast cancer can spread to any part of the body. The lungs are the second most common area for breast cancer metastasis....
Prognosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer in the Bone
If your breast cancer has spread to the bone, you have stage four breast cancer. While doctors use certain statistics to give...
Prognosis for Stage 4 Metastatic Brain Cancer
Metastatic brain cancer is cancer that has spread from the original tumor site to the brain. Stage 4 is a term indicating...