Learn how to cope with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer in this Howcast video with expert Marisa Weiss, MD.
Hi, I’m Doctor Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org. I’m also a practicing oncologist, and mom, and also a breast cancer survivor. So I’m happy to share information with you today that could help protect your life against breast cancer. When breast cancer has grown beyond the breast, and the lymph nodes that live right nearby, it’s called advanced breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer. That’s when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It may have gone to one place, it may have gone to ten places, there may be one spot, there could be many spots. It all goes into the category of metastatic breast cancer. And when someone has metastatic, or, also called stage four breast cancer, it can feel very scary. But I can tell you, as a breast oncologist in practice for over twenty years, and as head of Breastcancer.org, there is a lot of reason for hope. Many women can live a long time with metastatic breast cancer. It can be very responsive to treatment from all different types of categories. There are all kinds of medicine therapies that can be used, chemotherapy, medicine that targets a specific gene abnormality or another abnormality within the cancer, hormonal therapy, new agents that may be available on clinical trial. In the area of radiation oncology, it’s very effective at treating a specific area where cancer may have spread. That could be combined with other types of treatment, that give it a synergistic benefit. It’s also really important, if you are dealing with, and living with, metastatic stage four breast cancer, that you’re always staying tuned to the latest advances because, in general, when you’re diagnosed and you’re being treated with metastatic disease, you need to be under treatment in a relatively continuous fashion, and you always want to have an eye out for what’s next. If the current treatment is no longer working for me, what are my other options going to be? And that’s where our research news at Breastcancer.org is particularly important, cause we tell you every day what’s new that’s out there, and we also cover the major medical meetings on breast cancer just to give you information that could help extend and support and maybe even save your life.