“She has lost her battle against metastatic breast cancer”. This statement to ‘TMZ’ from a source close to the family of Olivia Newton-John announced the death of the prestigious actress at the age of 73. The Australian, popular worldwide for her role as Sandy in the movie greaseHe had been fighting for 30 years cancer.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time in 1992 and for the second time in 2013, being able to beat both tumors. However, her third diagnosis in 2017 was much more serious than the previous ones. She was already dealing with breast cancer with bone metastases which, sadly, he could not overcome.
What is metastatic breast cancer
The meaning of “metastasis” in the RAE makes clear the seriousness that this word implies: “propagation of a cancerous focus in an organ other than the one in which it began”. Therefore, if we talk about metastatic breast cancer, we are referring to one of the deadliest and most complicated.
As pointed out from breastcancer.orgwhen this disease is diagnosed it is because the cancer has already spread outside the breast to other parts of the body, with a tendency to spread to the bonesthe lungsthe brain or the liver. Therefore, it is also called stage IV breast cancer or advanced breast cancer.
This spreading is the result of the separation of cells from the primary tumor, which travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or of lymphatic system. These can settle and grow in another part of the body, causing the spread of the disease.
It is common for metastatic breast cancer to be diagnosed in a patient who has previously had breast cancer at an early stage, or even who has previously outgrown a tumor, as is the case with Olivia Newton-John. This situation is known as “metastatic recurrence”as explained from ‘Cancer.net’.
Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer
Symptoms vary depending on where the metastasis has occurred. If it is located in the bones, it is common to suffer bone-acheof backneck or joints, as well as swelling and bone fractures.
If the metastasis is brain, it is associated with headache, dizziness, nausea, seizures, confusion, loss of balance and personality changes. In the event that the spread of cancer cells has affected the lungs, the patient will experience shortness of breath and dry cough constant, while liver metastases caused yellowing of the skin and eyes, rashesbloating or pain in the belly, loss of appetite, and nausea.
The fatigue, vomiting and weight loss are other warning symptoms. However, it should be noted that not all people suffer from these symptoms and that, despite having a similar symptomatology, this may be due to another disease. It is always recommended to go to the doctor if you suffer from these symptoms.