Or, instead, you may have had breast cancer in the past and be wondering if the symptoms you are having could be a sign of a metastasis. What should you know about the symptoms, the treatment options available, and the prognosis when breast cancer spreads to the liver? Breast cancer which spreads to the liver is still breast cancer, and this can be a source of much confusion. If you were to take a sample of the cancer cells in the liver and look at them under the microscope, you would see cancerous breast cells. Breast cancer metastatic to the liver is not considered liver cancer. Liver cancer is a cancer which begins in the liver, and under the microscope you would visualize cancerous liver cells.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Life Expectancy and Prognosis
Metastatic Breast Cancer Network » Liver Mets
Metastasis is a complex process in which malignant cancer cells from the breast spread into other regions of the body. Once metastasis has occurred, it is much more difficult to effectively treat breast cancer. Sometimes metastasis has occurred at the time the original breast cancer is diagnosed. However, in other cases, the metastasis of breast cancer is found months or even years after the initial treatment. Breast cancer cells travel through the body like any other cancer cells. Firstly, cancer cells can invade neighbouring healthy tissue. Following this, the cancer cells then invade local lymph nodes or blood vessels.
Liver metastasis is a frequent occurrence in patients with breast cancer; however, the available treatments are limited and ineffective. While liver-specific homing of breast cancer cells is an important feature of metastasis, the formation of liver metastases is not random. Indeed, breast cancer cell factors contribute to the liver microenvironment. Major breakthroughs have been achieved recently in understanding breast cancer liver metastasis BCLM. The process of liver metastasis consists of multiple steps and involves various factors from breast cancer cells and the liver microenvironment.