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About metastatic breast cancer

LEARN THE FACTS
ABOUT METASTATIC
BREAST CANCER

The information here will help to answer some of the questions you may have about metastatic breast cancer and your treatment and help you to navigate your breast cancer journey.

You may have been previously diagnosed with early breast cancer and already received treatment for it in Thailand, or you may have been diagnosed for the first time with metastatic breast cancer and never been diagnosed with breast cancer before.

Whichever applies to you, the following facts about metastatic breast cancer are the same:

  • Also referred to as stage 4 breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer means that a cancer that was originally in your breast has spread to other parts of your body1,2.
  • Unlike cancers detected at an early stage, metastatic breast cancer is a chronic, incurable disease1.
  • The goal of stage 4 breast cancer treatment is to prevent the metastatic cancer from growing and spreading any further and to help you live with your disease with the best possible quality of life here in Thailand1.
  • Everyone’s experience is different – you will not necessarily have the same breast cancer symptoms, side effects and treatments as someone else1.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the symptoms of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer?

The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer vary depending on the person and where it has spread. They can vary from headaches to unexpected weight loss and even seizures. Be sure to check with your doctor if you notice anything unusual, especially if you have had and beaten cancer in the past.

How long does it take for metastatic breast cancer to spread?

Different types of cancers are more aggressive than others and will take different times to spread. Breast cancer has a doubling time of around 50 to 200 days, meaning that if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it probably first occurred a few years ago.

How do I adapt to a new life with metastatic breast cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer is not a curable condition, but that does not mean you cannot live a good quality of life even after your diagnosis. After treatment, we encourage everyone to join support groups and more that can help you adapt to your new life, whether it be how to tell your family and friends or just coping with day to day life.

What kind of support can I get for my stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis in Thailand?

There are countless places in Thailand, including us at Thrive, which strive to provide the best support possible for those who have been diagnosed with stage 4 or metastatic breast cancer. Our ‘Through My Eyes’ booklet, for example, is a collection of stories about women living with breast cancer. Browse our support page to find out more information.

References
  1. National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia (2019). Stage 4- Metastatic Breast Cancer. Retrieved from https://nbcf.org.au/about-national-breast-cancer-foundation/about-breast-cancer/stages-types-treatment-breast-cancer/stage-4-metastatic-breast-cancer Accessed February 12, 2019.
  2. Australian Government Cancer Australia (September 2017) Metastatic Breast Cancer. Retrieved from https://breast-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/types/metastatic-breast-cancer Accessed February 12, 2019.