Breast cancer cells tend to remain even after a mastectomy, chemotherapy, or other treatments taken to tackle it. Over time, these cells can even grow and lead to breast cancer to recur. Breast cancer may recur months or years later. Stage 4 or metastatic breast cancer occurs when cancer tends to spread to other organs or bones. There are a lot of treatments for recurrent breast cancer. In the below article, we tell you about the occurrence of this type of cancer.
Breast cancer recurrence happens when the breast cancer strikes back after treatment. Breast cancer can recur months or years after taking treatment and you’re in remission at that time. Did you know? When cancer comes back it can be in the same breast or chest area as the original tumor, beside the original tumor, in lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes) or collarbone area.
Furthermore, it spreads away from the original tumor to the lungs, bones, brain, or other parts of the body. This is metastatic cancer also known as Stage 4 breast cancer.
The causes: Sometimes, treatments shrink the tumors and the tests fail to detect their presence. These weakened cells are still there in the body after treatment and tend to get stronger as time passes. They multiply again. Cancer cells can move into nearby tissue, lymph nodes, or the bloodstream before surgery happens.
The symptoms of breast cancer recurrence: The signs one may notice after the symptoms recur are changes in the nipples, abnormal discharge from the nipples, swollen nipples, firm tissues in the breast, inverted nipples, flattening of the nipple, and swelling or numbness in one arm or shoulder.
The diagnosis: The treating doctor will ask you to do a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, and biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of cancer.
The treatment: If cancer happens in the reconstructed breast, your doctor will advise removing the breast implant or skin flap. You will also be asked to do a mastectomy to get rid of the affected breast (or both breasts) and sometimes lymph nodes. Chemotherapy (chemo) kills cancer cells. Immunotherapy allows the body to battle cancer. Moreover, radiation therapy will also aid in destroying cancer cells. Currently, targeted therapy is another option to deal with cancer recurrence.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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