Secondary Breast Cancer, also known as metastasised or advanced cancer, is where the cancer spreads from the primary cancer in the breast to other parts of the body. It is most commonly spread through the blood or lymph system.
Symptoms of Secondary Breast Cancer
There are two different categories of symptoms of secondary breast cancer. These are general symptoms and specific symptoms. General symptoms are relevant to all cancer, and can include: feeling constantly tired, nausea or vomiting, and unexplained weight loss.
Specific symptoms relate to the symptoms that develop depending on where the cancer has spread to. These can include: bone pain and fractures if it has spread to the bones, shortness of breath if it has spread to the lungs, rashes or changes to skin colour if it has spread to the skin, jaundice if it has spread to the liver, and confusion, vision and hearing problems if it has spread to the brain. This list is not exhaustive, and each type can have many more symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Secondary Breast Cancer
The most common places that breast cancer can spread to are the brain, bones, lungs, liver, and skin. It, unfortunately, can not be cured, only treated.
There are various tests that can be done to diagnose secondary breast cancer. These include:
- CT Scans
- MRI Scans
- Blood tests
- Ultrasound scan
Specialist biopsies and x-rays can also be done on the specific area that the cancer has spread to in order to diagnose.
As stated, it can not be cured unfortunately. There are forms of treatment available, but this can only help relieve symptoms, and give sufferers the best quality of life for as long as possible.
Breast Cancer Now believe that research is the key to saving lives. They state that they are currently funding £29 million into research on secondary breast cancer.
You may also be able to take part in clinical trials if you have secondary breast cancer. These can include: trying new drugs or different doses, new palliative care methods, or new ways of measuring treatment.
Has it Affected You?
Finding out you have secondary breast cancer can be a shock. Especially because there is no cure. Both Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK have support groups for those who are living with the condition.
If you have had a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer you will no doubt be upset. Diagnoses of this sort are usually always life-changing. Sadly, there are cases where cancer could have been picked up before it had a chance to spread. We have written about cancer diagnosis delays, and, unfortunately, if there is a delay in diagnosis, then the cancer may spread.
If this has happened to you in the last three years, and it was someone else’s fault, then you may be able to make a claim. This includes human error or if a doctor failed to refer someone showing symptoms. You may be in the position where a loved one has sadly passed away from secondary breast cancer. In this case, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf if they had a diagnosis within the last three years.
How we can help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with cancer cases. This includes cancer cases. This means they are well placed to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact us today by filling our contact form. Or call us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.