Metaplastic breast cancer is an unusual type of aggressive ductal cancer that starts in the milk ducts before spreading to the breast’s other tissues. Relatively, little is known about the causes or prognosis of metaplastic breast cancer, which can be severe and quick growing.
These cancers are distinct from other forms of breast cancer in that metaplastic tumors frequently contain other tissue types that are not typically found in the breast, such as squamous cells (skin) or osseous cells (bone).
Regular breast screenings can detect cancer before any symptoms manifest. Consequently, some women who undergo breast screening will be given a metaplastic breast cancer diagnosis even though they don’t exhibit any of the symptoms listed above.
The likelihood of developing metaplastic breast cancer may be increased by the following factors:
To accurately diagnose metaplastic breast cancer, several tests may be recommended. These include:
The recommended treatment option for this type of breast cancer is difficult to ascertain due to its rarity. Radiation therapy and surgery to remove the tumor are, nevertheless, thought to have great advantages.
Surgery: The most effective treatment is surgery, which removes the cancerous cells as well as a portion of the surrounding healthy cells. At diagnosis, surgery may be recommended since metaplastic breast cancers are frequently larger than other kinds of breast cancer.
Radiation therapy: After breast-conserving surgery, radiation therapy is often used to kill any cancer cells that could have remained. The tumor location or adjacent lymph nodes can both get radiation treatment.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can lessen the likelihood of cancer spreading and recurring by destroying cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy can be administered prior or post-surgery.
The symptoms of metaplastic breast cancer are similar to those of other types of breast cancer, including a lump or mass in the breast, nipple discharge or inversion, breast pain or tenderness, and changes in the appearance of the breast skin or nipple.
Treatment for metaplastic breast cancer usually involves surgery, such as a lumpectomy or mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
In some cases, metaplastic breast cancer may be hereditary, particularly if there is a family history of the disease or if the patient carries certain genetic mutations such as BRCA1 or BRCA2.