Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment and Prognosis

Dr. Sunil Verma, MD, MSEd, FRCPC, Oncologist, discusses advanced breast cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

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Dr. Sunil Verma, MD, MSEd, FRCPC, Oncologist, discusses advanced breast cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.
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Many of our patients with breast cancer are cured of their disease. However, still about 20 percent of them will relapse, and the breast cancer will spread in what we call advanced breast cancer – metastatic breast cancer.

And about 5 to 10 percent of our patients, when they present, already have metastatic breast cancer – advanced breast cancer – to begin with.

So at the present time, advanced breast cancer is not curable. When the breast cancer is metastasized, we can’t cure it, but we can control it. And by controlling it, what our main goals are, are to improve a patient’s quality of life, extend their survival, and decrease their symptoms.

So we want our patients to live as normal a life as possible for as long as possible. And we have made some tremendous achievements in advanced breast cancer where many of our patients are living longer and are living a better life, but we still have a long ways to go.

And I would really recommend our patients who have advanced breast cancer to discuss with their oncologist – discuss with their specialist – to say, “What can they do to maintain their quality of life?”

What can they do to extend their survival and how they can be involved with research, because many of our patients who do have advanced breast cancer we encourage them to participate in research and clinical trials that may benefit them, but may also benefit many generations of women who will be affected by this disease in the future.

So, we really encourage our patients to consider and educate themselves about the different treatment options, and discuss with their specialist as to what is the right treatment for their disease.

Presenter: Dr. Sunil Verma, Oncologist, Calgary, ON

Local Practitioners: Oncologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.