The most common metastasis in breast cancer is to the bone, brain, lung and liver. It is a late stage of the disease when the tumor has grown very large and undergoes progressive changes, ultimately becoming capable of migrating to distant organs.
Metastasis to the bones would cause bone pain and a susceptibility to fractures. Brain metastasis includes plenty of signs and symptoms depending on the exact locations of the cancer cells. It often results in vision changes, seizures and headache, and may even cause altered consciousness and changes in personality. Lung metastasis usually appears as cough and difficulty breathing. Liver metastasis results in jaundice and itchy skin among other symptoms associated with liver disease.
As you have seen throughout this article, most signs and symptoms in breast cancer appear in a late stage of the disease. Some of them are not as common as people tend to think, and even finding a lump in your breasts doesn’t mean you have breast cancer. Thus, do not delay your diagnosis and if you feel disturbing signs and symptoms ask your doctor about them and follow his instructions to get a proper diagnose.
There are plenty of routine methods to screen breast cancer, including ultrasound, mammograms, and continuous physical exams. A mammogram is usually recommended as a routine for women after 40 years of age, and before that time in women under suspicion of breast cancer.
In all cases, breast self-awareness is very important to avoid the complications of breast cancer by diagnosing and treating the disease as early as possible. Thus, become familiar with your own breast and learn how to perform your own breast self-exams. If you find a significant change, talk to your doctor and follow instructions. By doing that, you might not be lowering your risk of breast cancer, but you will improve your chances to fully recover from this disease and become a survivor of breast cancer.