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About metastatic breast cancer

UNDERSTANDING YOUR
METASTATIC BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS

A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis may feel overwhelming but please know that you are not alone. Here you can find information and resources to help you understand your diagnosis and treatments, as well as guidance with navigating the choices you will need to make. By simply surrounding yourself with support and having a keen awareness of your diagnoses, you are already taking positive steps in your metastatic breast cancer journey in Malaysia.

LEARN THE FACTS
ABOUT METASTATIC
BREAST CANCER

The information here may be able to help you answer some questions you have in mind about metastatic breast cancer. You may have been previously diagnosed with early breast cancer and already received treatment for it in Malaysia, 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.
  • There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, and 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 Malaysia.
  • 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 metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in Malaysia?

There are countless places in Malaysia, 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” Facebook page is an initiative to share and celebrate the stories of women from across the Asia Pacific region (APAC) who are living with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) which is also known as advanced breast cancer. Log on to Through My Eyes to find out more information about mBC.

Reference
  1. NNational Breast Cancer Foundation Australia (2020). Stage 4 (Advanced or Metastatic) Breast Cancer. Retrieved from https://nbcf.org.au/about-breast-cancer/diagnosis/stage-4-advanced-or-metastatic-breast-cancer/. Accessed 18 August 2020.
  2. Australian Government Cancer Australia (August 2020) Metastatic Breast Cancer. Retrieved from https://breast-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/breast-cancer/types/metastatic-breast-cancer. Accessed 18 August 2020