Breast Cancer Awareness: Treatment Options When Breast Cancer Spreads

As the second-most diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S., it’s tough to find someone who hasn’t been impacted by breast cancer in some way. The American Cancer Society estimates 230,480 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.

When breast cancer is discovered after it starts causing symptoms, the cancer is likely to have advanced and spread beyond the confines of the breast. Many women may be unaware that breast cancer can spread to other areas of the body, becoming a much larger health issue. The most common sites for metastasis, or spread, of primary breast cancer are the brain, lungs and bones.

The National Cancer Institute explains that breast cancer spreads in three different ways — through the lymph system, which is the most common; through the blood; or through tissue. When primary breast cancer has spread, it is considered metastatic breast cancer.

If the primary cancer metastasizes to another part of the body, stereotactic radiosurgery with the CyberKnife® can be a treatment option for women who are candidates.

Women may choose CyberKnife treatment for lung or brain metastases due to fewer side effects, shorter treatment times and to avoid additional invasive cancer treatment.

To learn more about breast cancer or how to get involved in the fight against this disease, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.