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What Happens When Metastatic Breast Cancer Affects Liver? Know Symptoms And Treatment Options For This Disease

Metastatic Breast Cancer is a very severe cancer condition. Know what happens when tumour spreads to liver and infects it.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Sep 03, 2021Updated at: Oct 18, 2021
What Happens When Metastatic Breast Cancer Affects Liver? Know Symptoms And Treatment Options For This Disease

Cancer is considered one of the most severe medical conditions which has many side-effects and is hard to treat. There are different types of cancer which can occur in different body parts resulting to serious health issues. Breast cancer is another type of cancer that is more evident in women and results to loss of mammary glands and breast removal in some cases. Breast can has a sub-category called metastatic breast cancer which happens when the cancer spreads to the other parts of the body outside the breast such as liver. Today we will discuss the conditions that can occur when breast cancer affects liver of a person. 

What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

OnlyMyHealth talked to Dr. Pooja Verma, Consultant in Oncology Department at B.N.K Hospital, Kochi. According to her, metastatic breast cancer is last stage of breast cancer in which the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. This condition is very severe and chances of survival become thin. A person suffering from this type of breast cancer goes through multiple treatments (if undergoing treatment) that affect their health as well. It can affect tissues surrounding the breasts such as liver and distant organs that might result to multiple organ failure and different cancers. Metastatic breast cancer can also spread to your brain and bones that might become incurable. Hence it is important to take steps and start immediate treatment once symptoms of metastatic breast cancer become visible. 

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Does Metastatic Breast Cancer Affect Liver Often?

Dr. Pooja says that reaching this stage of breast cancer was more common until treatment for cancer was available. After that in most cases, it is tried that patient does not come to a stage where the breast cancer starts spreading to other organs such as lungs. Spreading of cancer in liver can be especially problematic because it can affect your digestion and chances of recovery. This happens because liver purifies your blood which helps in recovery. 

Fortunately, only 1 out of thousand cases that have breast cancer get their liver affected by this deadly disease. However doctor tells that it has not been proved that in general cases where breast cancer that has not spread to other parts can affect your liver function.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer Affecting Your Liver

Symptoms of liver infection with breast cancer are negligible; therefore in most cases patients are not able to determine these symptoms until diagnosed. If liver metastasis occur, then you might have these symptoms-

  • Bloating
  • Poor appetite
  • Sudden Weakness and Fatigue condition
  • High fever
  • Discomfort in mid-section
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice 
  • Swelling in legs

Also Read- 5 Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Ovarian Cancer

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Treatment Methods for Liver Metastatic Breast Cancer

There is no particular cure that can treat metastatic breast cancer; hence all the treatment options available are used to slow the growth of the tumour inside the person. These treatments can increase the lifespan of the person but it may not be able to cure or treat this disease. Because this disease occurs at the later stages of cancer, the treatment options are not very aggressive as it might affect other functions of the body as well.

According to Dr. Pooja Verma, medications are most common treatment at this stage with infected liver. Other therapies are common for all the cancer treatments that involve-

  • Immunotherapy 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy 
  • Targeted drugs

Also Read- Diagnosing Lung Cancer at An Early Stage Can Save Lives, Know About 4 Methods of Testing Lung Cancer

Diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer Infected Liver

These treatments are done according to different factors which a patient is affected with. If the breast infection spreads in the liver, following conditions are diagnosed-

  • Age of the person
  • Menopause status of woman
  • Different affects of cancer on the body till now
  • Past treatments
  • Symptoms present with person suffering from cancer
  • Size of the tumour in the liver
  • Other organs infected, if any
  • General health check and status of health

diagnosis_of_breast_cancer

Conclusion

Metastatic breast cancer is the last stage of breast cancer where the tumour starts spreading to other body parts. It grows to a level where it is not possible to treat the cancer and take out tumour. If the breast cancer affects your livers, then there are very slight chances of recovery. The symptoms of breast cancer affecting tumour is very limited, hence it is important to get yourself diagnosed even when slight symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness or pale skin colour occurs. Treatment of metastatic breast cancer is not available; there are only few methods though which breast cancer can be controlled to prolong life span. Consult your doctor for the available treatment option by diagnosis of factors affecting metastatic breast cancer.

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