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Understanding the Disease

Advanced HR+, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer, also called stage 4 or advanced breast cancer, is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breasts and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. Metastases often occur in the bones, the lungs, the liver, or the brain.

Metastatic breast cancer is treatable but not curable, so a diagnosis means that you’ll have to take medication for the rest of your life. The course of metastasis varies from person to person, so you’ll stay on a treatment for as long as it’s working to slow the progress of the disease.

Knowing Your Specific Subtype

Metastatic breast cancer is broken down by subtype. Some medicines are developed for specific subtypes, so knowing your subtype will help your doctor determine the right treatment approach for you.

HR+ means that your type of metastatic breast cancer is fueled by one of two hormones: estrogen or progesterone. HER2- means that you have normal amounts of HER2 protein in your tumors.

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic HR+, HER2- breast cancer, your doctor will use this information to create a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

Setting Treatment Goals

Together, you and your doctor should work together to discuss treatment options, set goals, and share important information.

 

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask when discussing metastatic breast cancer treatment:

 

  • What are the benefits of this medication?

  • Why do you think this treatment is right for me?

  • What can I expect when starting this medication?

  • What are the possible side effects?

  • Can I manage side effects?

  • What if the side effects are too much to handle?

  • How long will I be on this treatment?

  • Will I be able to keep up with my usual daily activities?

  • Can I continue to do the things I love while taking this medication?

  • How often do I need to come back for follow-up visits?

Fighting Words: Understanding is half the battle

Sue