Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast cancer treatment

Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV invasive cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes and to other parts of the body. When breast cancer metastasis, it mostly spreads to other body organs such as bones, liver and lungs. It may also spread to the brain or other organs of the body. Breast cancer treatment cost in India is USD 4000-4500 inclusive of diagnosis, treatment, medication, and accommodation. 

The goal of metastatic breast  cancer treatment:

  • Longest possible survival with the disease
  • Best and longest quality of life 
  • Fewest possible side effects of the cancer treatment 

There is no cure for this cancer but the longest possible survival for months and even years is possible. India is the best option when looking for medical assistance as they offer large availability of healthcare practitioners and also the cost of medical treatment is much lower and the hospitals are equipped with world-class infrastructure. HBG medical assistance is the best hospital for medical tourism in India

Treatment options for metastatic cancer are based on the following:

  • Specific symptoms
  • Your overall health
  • Previous cancer treatment
  • Gene mutations in the tumor 
  • Cancer has spread in the body and its location
  • The presence and level of hormone receptors or HER2 in the tumor

Treatment options for Stage IV metastatic breast cancer:

For women with stage IV breast cancer, systematic drug therapies are the main breast cancer treatment in India possible to destroy cancer cells. The treatment includes:

  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drugs
  • Immunotherapy and some combination of these therapies. 

Surgery and radiation therapy may be useful with some treatment along. Treatment can help shrink the tumor or slow its growth, improve symptoms, and help women live longer. Stage IV cancer cannot be completely cured but can improve the lifespan of the woman or an individual. 

How well the treatment works depends on many factors including how much cancer has spread in the body and what treatment has been used. If the treatment for metastatic breast cancer stops responding to drugs over time, then you need to change the treatment procedure considering the help of your oncologist. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambai is the best hospital for breast cancer treatment in India equipped with world-class healthcare facilities and a team of doctors.

Systematic drug treatment for stage IV breast cancer:

Treatment continues until cancer starts growing again or side effects become unacceptable. If this happens, other drugs might be tried along with the treatment. The types of drugs used for stage IV breast cancer depend on the HER2 status and on the hormone receptor status of cancer. 

Hormone receptor-positive cancer:

Women with hormone receptor/ estrogen receptor/ progesterone receptor-positive cancer are often first treated with hormone therapy (aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen).  This therapy can be given in addition to targeted drugs such as everolimus, Pl3K inhibitor, CDK4/6 inhibitor. 

Women who have not undergone menopause are often treated with tamoxifen or with medicines that keep their ovaries from making hormones along with other drugs. Hormone therapy may take up months to work hence chemotherapy is an alternative choice for patients with serious problems such as breathing issues. 

Hormone receptor-negative cancers:

As hormone therapy isn’t helpful for this cancer, chemotherapy is the best possible treatment for women with hormone receptor-negative ER/ PR negative cancers. 

HER2 positive cancers:

Herceptin can give a chance to women to live a little longer if given along with chemotherapy or any other medications such as hormonal therapy or anti-HER2 drugs. Another drug that can be used in addition is Perjeta. Other options include targeted drugs such as lapatinib which can be given with certain chemotherapy drugs or hormone therapy or Kadcyla drug. 

HER2 -negative cancers in women with BRCA gene mutation:

These women are treated with certain kinds of chemotherapy and hormone therapy if the cancer is hormone receptor-positive. An option after chemotherapy is targeted drug therapy called PARP inhibitors such as talazoparib and olaparib. 

HER2- negative breast cancers in women with a PIK3CA mutation:

Alpelisib is a PIK3CA inhibitor that can be used in combination with fulvestrant to treat postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. 

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC):

The immunotherapy drug Tecentriq can be used along with albumin-bound Abraxane in people with advanced triple-negative breast cancer whose tumor makes the PD-L1 protein (found is 20% triple-negative breast cancer). Other drugs called platinum drugs like cisplatin or carboplatin may be considered for women with TNBC and BRCA mutation who no longer respond to chemo drugs. 

Local or regional treatment for stage IV breast cancer:

Although systematic drugs are the best possible breast cancer treatment in India for stage IV cancer, local or regional treatment such as radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy may also be used along with these treatments. These can help treat breast cancer in specific parts of the body but are very unlikely to get rid of all cancer. These treatments are mostly used to treat the symptoms or any complication arising from cancer. 

Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be used in certain situations such as:

  • To help prevent bone fractures
  • Provide relief in pain or other symptoms 
  • Treat a blockage in the blood vessel 
  • When an area of the breast cancer spread is pressing on the spinal cord 
  • To treat a small number of metastasis in a certain area such as the brain
  • When the breast tumor is causing an open wound in the breast or chest 

In some cases, regional chemo may also be useful. Regional chemo is where the drugs are delivered directly into a certain area such as into the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. It is important to understand the goal of the regional or local treatment when your doctor suggests one- whether it is to control the spread of cancer or treat symptoms. 

Gleneagles hospital is yet another hospital for breast cancer treatment in India. 

Relieving symptoms of advanced breast cancer:

Treatment to relieve symptoms depends on where cancer has spread. For instance, pain from bone metastasis may be treated with radiation therapy, drugs such as bisphosphonates or Zometa, or the drug Xgeva. 

More and more people are looking for affordable healthcare in India. Medical tourism in India is said to be the best medical industry compared to other developed countries. People can save up to 30-70% when choosing HBG medical assistance as the best hospital for medical tourism in India. Breast cancer treatment cost in India is USD 4000-4500 inclusive of diagnosis, treatment, medication, and accommodation.

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