Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Spotlight on Metastatic Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness for the second-most diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S.

When breast cancer is discovered after it starts causing symptoms, the cancer may have advanced and spread beyond the confines of the breast. The most common sites for metastasis, or spread, of primary breast cancer are the brain, lungs and bones.

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 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. CyberKnife treatment for brain metastases does not involve surgery or sedation and is complete in fewer than five outpatient procedures.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, contact our center to find out if CyberKnife may be an option for your treatment plan.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each October, the breast cancer community gathers to raise awareness and garner support for the fight against breast cancer. There are many ways to support the more than 232,340 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Below is a round up of events and resources in the Columbus area.

  • Get Active. On October 27, The American Cancer Society will host the 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Columbus. The 3 to 5 mile walk will also feature a Fight Back Dance Line organized by the ACS. For more information, click here.
  • Focus on Wellness. The Cancer Support Community of Central Ohio hosts multiple programs and services for women undergoing breast cancer treatment on healthy living, stress management and exercise. Their bi-monthly newsletter features regular special programs for patients and their families.
  • Get Connected. Columbus CyberKnife’s hospital partner, Mount Carmel, hosts regular support groups for breast cancer patients. They also offer a Pink Link mobile App, which helps women schedule and manage appointments for mammograms and gives reminders for breast-self exams. For more information, visit Mount Carmel’s Women’s Health page.

Columbus CyberKnife treats certain metastases with stereotactic body radiation therapy using CyberKnife® technology. Our center is proud to provide a treatment option to breast cancer patients whose cancer has spread to other areas such as the brain or lungs. Read more about the CyberKnife treatment process here.

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.