Metastatic Breast Cancer
Did you know that no one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast? The term “metastatic,” actually raises more alarm in a diagnostic setting than the words, “tumor,” or “cancer.”
But what does metastatic mean?
The National Breast Cancer Foundation classifies metastatic breast cancer as Stage 4.
If a diagnosis shows that the breast cancer has reached this stage, then the cancer cells have already invaded nearby healthy cells and have spread through the bloodstream or the lymph system to the person’s vital organs. The cancer is in metastasis and is reaching the lungs, liver, bone, or brain. 6% to 10% of people have already reached this dangerous stage at the time of their initial breast cancer screening and according to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, “an estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. In addition, metastatic breast cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.”
Early detection is vital so that treatment can begin in time to manage the cancer. Although metastatic breast cancer does not yet have a cure, treating the cancer as a chronic condition can allow the patient to live longer.
It is essential to conduct regular checks and annual mammograms to detect the disease early on, before metastasizing. Mammography is the most effective method of early detection, identifying cancer in its most treatable stage.
At Oak Bend Medical Center, we can assist you through this process by providing regular mammograms and Breast Specific Gamma Imaging which will provide clearer and more concise imaging. Call our Women’s Services department at (281) 341-4817 to schedule your next mammogram.