September 26, 2022
When Breast Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain

When Breast Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain

When Breast Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain – Breast cancer is the most widely recognized kind of cancer in ladies in the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it makes up about 30 percent of trusted sources of all new cancers diagnosed in ladies each year.

All cancers, including breast cancer, can metastasize. This is when cancer spreads to a more distant part of the body from where it originated. Metastatic cancer is also called stage 4 cancer.

The brain is one of the locations where breast cancer can ordinarily metastasize. Continue reading to learn more about brain metastasis, its symptoms, and the way that it’s diagnosed and treated.

When Breast Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain

Breast cancer is the most well-known sort of cancer in ladies in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it makes up about 30 percent of trusted sources of all new cancers diagnosed in ladies each year.

All cancers, including breast cancer, can metastasize. This is when cancer spreads to a more distant part of the body from where it originated. Metastatic cancer is also called stage 4 cancer.

The brain is one of the locations where breast cancer can regularly metastasize. Continue reading to learn more about brain metastasis, its symptoms, and the way that it’s diagnosed and treated.

What is brain metastasis?

Brain metastasis is when cancer that started in one area, such as the breast, spreads to the brain. The brain is one of the normal destinations of breast cancer metastasis. The others include the bones, lungs, and liver.

A 2017 study trusted Source checked out 4,932 individuals with metastatic breast cancer. Within this population, 8.8 percent had brain metastasis.

For many individuals, metastases have already been distinguished in other normal metastatic destinations before they are tracked down in the brain.

In any case, Breastcancer.org says that about 17% of individuals with metastatic breast cancer have the brain as their main site of metastasis.

What are the symptoms of brain metastasis from breast cancer?

The symptoms of brain metastasis can rely upon what part of the brain is affected and may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or numbness in your limbs
  • Vision changes, such as blurry vision or a sudden loss of vision
  • Trouble speaking or slurred speech
  • Difficulty staying balanced
  • Problems with memory
  • Changes in personality
  • Seizures

Other more general symptoms that breast cancer has metastasized include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling unwell, or malaise
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss

What causes breast cancer to metastasize to the brain?

Metastasis happens when cancer cells break away from the original tumor site. These cells utilize the circulatory or lymphatic framework to travel to a more distant part of the body, such as the brain and establish another tumor.

It’s impractical to foresee with certainty whether or not an individual will foster brain metastasis. Notwithstanding, a few factors can increase an individual’s risk.

Risk factors for brain metastasis

According to a 2020 review trusted Source, the risk factors for brain metastasis are similar to the general risk factors for metastatic breast cancer. These include having:

  • Breast cancer with certain characteristics, such as triple-negative breast cancer or human epidermal development factor receptor 2 (HER2)- positive breast cancer
  • A tumor with a high histological grade, and that means that the cells look more irregular under a magnifying lens and may probably develop and spread rapidly
  • Breast cancer that’s already spread to nearby tissues or lymph hubs
  • A breast cancer diagnosis at an early age

Assuming that you’ve gotten a breast cancer diagnosis, recollect that having any of the above risk factors doesn’t mean that you’ll certainly foster brain metastasis. It means you’re at elevated risk compared with others without risk factors.

How is brain metastasis diagnosed?

In the event that your symptoms propose the presence of brain metastasis, your doctor can utilize a variety of tests to make a diagnosis.

Initially, blood tests will be ordered to find out about your overall health and the capacity of various organs. These can include:

  • A metabolic panel, which can assess liver and kidney work as well as levels of electrolytes in the blood
  • A total blood count, which measures the degrees of various platelets
  • Tests for breast cancer tumor markers, which are proteins that can be delivered by breast cancer cells

Your doctor can utilize a head MRI to affirm the diagnosis of brain metastasis. This will typically be finished with a contrast arrangement that’s given via an intravenous (IV) line. Using a contrast arrangement can assist with making the images from the MRI clearer.

How is brain metastasis treated?

The treatment that’s suggested for brain metastasis can rely upon a couple of factors, including:

  • The number of metastases that are available in the brain
  • Where in the brain the metastases are located
  • The HER2-positive and ER-positive status of your cancer
  • Whether your cancer has also metastasized to other areas of the body
  • Assuming that certain hereditary changes are available in your cancer
  • Your age and overall health
  • Your personal inclinations

There are several potential treatment choices for brain metastasis. Doctors generally partition these treatments into two categories: local and foundational.

Local treatments are specifically aimed at the site of the metastatic tumor. Foundational treatments work on the whole body. Depending on your individual situation, a combination of local and fundamental treatments may be utilized.

Local treatments

Now and again, brain metastases can be taken out surgically. This is typically suggested for individuals in great overall health with a small number of brain metastases that can be easily accessed. It’s often trailed by radiation therapy.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is another potential choice for individuals with a small number of metastases. It coordinates a single, solid portion of radiation at the affected area. The radiation is aimed precisely in order to affect the tumor and not the surrounding tissues.

Entire brain radiation is when radiation is given to the entire brain, typically more than several meetings. This approach may be utilized when many brain metastases are available and other local treatments aren’t suggested.

Systemic treatments

Hormone therapy obstructs the action of hormones like estrogen and progesterone on cancer cells that are ER-positive.

This can decrease further development and division of cancer cells. It’s generally expected utilized in combination with targeted therapy.

Targeted therapy works by interfering with the activity of explicit proteins that are on or inside of cancer cells. Examples of proteins that are targeted are HER2 and cyclin-subordinate kinases (CDK), which are proteins involved with cell development.

Immunotherapy assists your insusceptible framework in fighting cancer. A sort of medication called an insusceptible checkpoint inhibitor may be useful for triple-negative breast cancer. This sort of breast cancer is harder to treat with targeted therapy and cannot be treated with hormone therapy.

Other treatments

Individuals with brain metastases can often have to swell around the brain. To assist with alleviating this, steroids such as dexamethasone may be utilized.

Seizures are also a potential symptom of brain metastasis. Assuming you’re having seizures, your doctor will recommend antiseizure medications to assist with preventing them.
What’s the viewpoint for brain metastases?

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI)Trusted Source, the 5-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is 29%. This means that, compared with individuals without this sort of cancer, 29% of individuals with metastatic breast cancer are alive after 5 years.

The standpoint for brain metastases itself is generally poor, yet can be influenced by several factors, such as:

  • the HER2 and HR status of your cancer, with triple-negative breast cancer having the poorest standpoint
  • the number of metastases that are available in the brain
  • whether your cancer has also metastasized to other areas of the body
  • the kind of treatments that have been utilized and your reaction to them
  • your age and overall health

A 2019 study trusted Source checked out at 4,118 individuals with breast cancer and brain metastases. North of a 30-month follow-up period, the median overall survival after diagnosis of brain metastases was 7.9 months.

A recent report noticed that, overall, survival for brain metastases has gotten to the next level. Nonetheless, for metastatic breast cancer in the brain, survival varied somewhere in the range of 3 and three years.

When we discuss survival rates, realize that these numbers are based on investigations of large quantities of individuals who were diagnosed several years ago. They don’t reflect individual situations or ongoing advances in diagnosis and treatment.

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