BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Welcome back to Health Alert! Today is National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day and joining us tonight for a two-part interview concerning metastatic breast cancer is Peggy Johnson, RN, BSN, Clinical Navigator for Breast Health and Gynecological Health at UHC.
Question: What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?
Answer: MBC also known as Stage IV is cancer that has spread outside of the breast to other organs such as bones, liver, lung or brain. This process is called metastasis. (pronounced as Me-TAS-ta-sis)
Question: What happens when breast cancer spreads?
Answer: Breast cancer that spreads to another organ, such as bones, lung, or liver, is still breast cancer and does not become bone cancer or liver cancer or lung cancer. Under a microscope, the tumor cells will still look and act like breast cancer and will be treated as breast cancer.
Question: Why does breast cancer metastasize?
Answer: Researchers at this time can’t explain why metastatic disease occurs, but they’re working on finding answers. Early detection is a detection tool, but it does not a cure or prevent an early cancer from coming back in the future as metastatic disease.
Question: Who gets metastatic breast cancer?
Answer: No one brings metastatic disease on themselves. The sad truth is that anyone who has had an earlier stage of breast cancer can experience a metastatic recurrence and some women have metastatic disease on their initial diagnosis of cancer–despite mammograms and early detection!