- Question from Gaby: I was recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and the site is the same breast, in the chest wall, and two lymph nodes. Would this be considered better than if it had spread to the liver or somewhere else?
Eric Winer, M.D.
The answer is probably yes, but there are a number of factors that have to be considered other than just where the cancer is, in terms of knowing what the right treatment might be and what the likelihood is that the cancer will respond to the treatment.
Other factors that are important—both in terms of selecting treatment and having some sense as to how a woman with recurrent breast cancer is likely to fare in the years ahead—are: 1) how long an interval has passed since her initial diagnosis; 2) the hormone receptor status of the cancer (the estrogen and progesterone receptors); 3) the HER-2/neu status of the cancer; 4) the prior treatment that she's received; and, 5) her general health condition—whether or not she has other medical problems. With this information in hand, a woman can sit with her doctor and other health care providers and come up with an individualized treatment plan for her recurrent breast cancer.
On Wednesday, September 17, 2003, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Metastatic Breast Cancer. Musa Mayer, Eric P. Winer, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about treatment and quality of life issues related to advanced (metastatic) breast cancer.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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