Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Symptoms of Metastatic & Recurrent Breast Cancer

The symptoms of metastatic and recurrent breast cancer depend on how much the cancer has spread. You may have specific physical symptoms, such as a lump in your breast or on your chest wall, bone pain, or shortness of breath. Many women do not have symptoms. Recurrent or metastatic breast cancer is often found before symptoms appear, either on a chest X-ray or as part of another test.
Recurrent breast cancer
  • A lump or thickening in the breast, chest wall, or armpit after you have had breast-conserving surgery Click here to see an illustration. or a mastectomy Click here to see an illustration.. You may notice that the skin of your chest looks or feels different.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast or a dimple or pucker in the skin of the breast.
  • Discharge or bleeding from the nipple that occurs without squeezing the nipple (spontaneous discharge).
  • A change in the nipple, such as a scaly or crusty look or a nipple that draws inward (retraction or inversion).
Metastatic breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer symptoms
Area affected Symptom
Breast or chest wall
  • Lump or thickening in your breast or under your arm
  • Changes in size or shape of your breast
  • Changes in the skin of your breast or chest wall
  • Chest wall pain
  • Discharge from your nipple
Bones, especially the back, hips, or sternum
  • Pain
  • Fractures
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased alertness from high calcium levels
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Chest wall pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Fluid collection (edema) in your feet and legs
  • Yellowing or itching of the skin
Brain and spinal cord
  • Pain
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Change in how your skin senses touch, pain, or any other physical feeling
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble standing, moving, or walking
  • Seizures
Inflammatory breast cancer
If you have cancer that recurs in the same area (local recurrence), you may have symptoms such as:
Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer will depend on the area affected and how far your breast cancer has spread.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a specific type of breast cancer that involves the skin of the breast. It occurs when breast cancer cells form “nests” and block the lymphatic drainage from the skin of the breast. Symptoms include redness, tenderness, and warmth. Thickening of the skin of the breast (orange peel appearance), rapid breast enlargement, and ridging of the skin of the breast may also occur. Some women may also develop itching, bruising, or a lump in the breast. See a picture of inflammatory breast cancer Click here to see an illustration..,,20190401,00.html

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Vitamin D Can Boost Cancer Survival Rate:

HIGH levels of vitamin D in the body may improve survival rates in cancer patients.
Two new studies say that people with more vitamin D - which is produced by the skin in sunlight - when diagnosed with bowel or skin cancer were more likely to survive.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis.
In the first study, a team from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston followed more than 1,000 bowel cancer patients for about nine years.
Researchers estimated the vitamin D in their blood at the time of diagnosis, and found those with higher levels were 50 per cent less likely to die from the disease.
Professor Kimmie Ng, author of the study said: "Our study shows that levels of vitamin D after colorectal cancer diagnosis may be important for survival.
"We are now planning further research in patients with bowel cancer to see if vitamin D has the same effect, and to investigate how vitamin D works."
The second study, funded by Cancer Research UK looked at patients with malignant melanoma - the most deadly skin cancer, and linked low levels of vitamin D with higher rates of relapse. High levels of the vitamin were linked to thinner tumours.
Lead author Professor Julia Newton Bishop said: "It's common for the general public to have low levels of vitamin D in many countries."

Friday, September 18, 2009


The Marie Claire magazine (South Africa) has covered my story for breast cancer month/October issue. Marie Claire kindly agreed to let me post the story on my blog on the 21.10.09 for the overseas readers.

I agreed to do the article as long as different info to the usual info was conveyed. I am satisfied that this has been done.

My story is also in the October Destiny magazine (South African) - article title: 'Life after Mastectomy'

My focus is on prevention of breast cancer, second early detection, thirdly, prevention of recurrence, and lastly, treatment during active breast cancer.

I hope this info will be integrated into the traditional medical model for breast cancer prevention and treatment in South Africa so people are more informed and have more options.