Many women diagnosed with breast cancer often wonder how fast the condition spreads. Know more from a best oncologist in Kolkata.

How fast does breast cancer spread?

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women worldwide. One of the most significant concerns that those diagnosed have is how fast the disease spreads. Get to know more about this from a best oncologist in Kolkata.

Nature of breast cancer

Breast cancer is a disease that has several subtypes and each behave differently. Some of these cancers grow and spread rapidly, while others tend to advance more slowly. Factors like the stage and type of cancer play a significant role in determining how fast it spreads.

Cancers of the breast spread through various pathways like the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. The rate of the spread varies based on the aggressiveness of cancer cells and the ability to invade nearby tissues and affect distant organs. 

Factors influencing the spread of breast cancer: Explains an oncologist

  • Stage of breast cancer: In the early stages of breast cancer, the tumour is small in size and restricted to the breast tissue; hence, the likelihood of its spread is lower. On the other hand, in the later stages, like Stages III and IV, the risk of metastasis and cancer spreading to different parts of the body increases. 
  • Molecular subtype: According to the best breast cancer doctor in Kolkata, breast cancer can be divided into various subtypes depending on the absence or presence of certain receptors like progesterone receptors, estrogen receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. These subtypes include HER2-positive, triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer.

Hormone-receptor positive breast cancers form the majority of all cases of breast cancer. These cancers tend to grow very slowly and do not spread fast, like triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancers. HER2-positive cancers might spread more quickly if not treated effectively with targeted therapies. Triple-negative cancers are usually more aggressive and metastasize more quickly. 

  • Genetic factors: Some individuals might have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. For instance, certain genetic mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations predispose individuals to a higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Lifestyle factors: Lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, diet and lack of exercise can cause breast cancer to progress more quickly. Hence, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and going for regular screenings, one can take the necessary measures to diagnose breast cancer at an early stage and reduce the risk of its spread. 

Final words

By consulting the best oncologist in Kolkata, you can lower the risk of your breast cancer metastasizing and improve your survival and treatment outcomes significantly.