I didn’t feel anything, how did breast cancer metastasize to the brain?

Cancer cells are never safe. When cancer cells appear in the human body, they start thinking about running to various organs in the human body. If they find a suitable organ and take root, then they will start to multiply and form new tumor lesions. This is what we are Often referred to as tumor metastasis.

And we all know: once cancer metastasizes, it often means that the body’s defense line can no longer resist the invasion of cancer. It progresses rapidly, which is why patients with metastases are poorly treated. So whether early detection of traces of cancer metastasis can help us buy time for treatment is particularly important.

01Breast cancer brain metastases

For many sisters, the most important thing to prevent is Breast cancer brain metastases. The human brain is different from other parts. The brain is the center of the human body. In many cases, even a little damage will cause a relatively large sensory disturbance in the human body.

And because of the importance of the brain itself to the body, the human body also sets up special barriers to prevent irrelevant things from entering the brain from the blood vessels – quite Like a sieve, all unnecessary things are filtered out, which is the blood-brain barrier.

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We know that most drugs are transported through the blood to exert their effects throughout the body. Although the blood-brain barrier protects the brain, it also limits the effect of many drugs-because they have no way to enter the brain, they have been blocked by the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, for patients with brain metastases, the treatment will become more cautious and more complicated.

However, brain metastases are not like metastases in other parts, and corresponding symptoms can appear very quickly: brain metastases In the early stage, there are basically no symptoms (dizziness and headaches may appear when there are more brain tumors), which makes it easy to relax our vigilance; but once symptoms appear When the tumor has developed for a long time, it is too late to start treatment.

Of course, there is no need to worry too much about this, because brain metastases are generally patients with advanced cancer, and the overall incidence is less than 5%. Most sisters can rest assured. However, there are some sisters who need to be extra vigilant: This is the sister of HER-2 positive and triple negative breast cancer, because the probability of brain metastasis is high in patients with these two types of breast cancer Some patients, so these 2 categories of patients need to have an active brain examination.

02Prevention is better than cure

A thought that we must establish is that prevention is better than cure. It is more difficult to treat when symptoms really appear, and the effect of treatment will be reduced; on the other hand, the cost of prevention is much lower than that of treatment.

Many sisters of advanced breast cancer patients (mainly stage VI or the aforementioned HER-2 positive and triple negative) (of stage III sisters), even in the absence of symptoms, never resist when your doctor feels the need for a brain test. It is also the easiest and cheapest way to perform a brain examination through plain and enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging tests can help us determine whether brain metastases have occurred earlier.

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Of course, if you are really unfortunate enough to be hit by this probability and have brain metastases, how do we treat it?

2022 CSCO Breast Cancer Guidelines Mentioned: Breast Cancer Brain Metastases Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, drug therapy, and symptomatic and supportive care. The general treatment principle is to give priority to surgery and/or radiotherapy for brain metastases under the premise of a full assessment of the systemic situation, while rationally considering systemic therapy.

First of all, as we mentioned earlier, many drugs cannot reach the brain due to the existence of the blood-brain barrier in the brain. Therefore, the choice of drug is very important.If it is a patient with a corresponding targeted mutation, an appropriate targeted drug can be selected for treatment.

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In addition to targeted drugs, there are also chemotherapeutic drugs to choose from, chemotherapy drugs that can cross the blood-brain barrier include: capecitabine, platinum, microtubule inhibitors , temozolomide, methotrexate, etc.

In addition to chemotherapy, radiotherapy is also an important way to treat brain metastases , mainly including whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and stereotactic radiotherapy (SRS). SRS uses stereotactic technology to accurately locate tumor lesions in the brain, and then uses a single high-dose concentrated radiation to kill the local area. tumor lesions.

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p>Simply put: SRS can precisely control the radiation to the metastases of the tumor, and then directly kill the tumor cells with a large dose of radiation at one time, which requires that the tumor lesions are not very large. 3cm or less; the corresponding is WBRT, which is equivalent to radiotherapy for the entire brain. Generally, if radiotherapy is available, SRS is the first choice for treatment.

SRS is generally aimed at tumors under 3 cm. If the tumor exceeds 3 cm and the tumor tissue has compressed nerves and blood vessels, then It can be treated with surgery. We can think of SRS as a smaller surgery for smaller tumors, and surgery to remove larger tumors.


Of course, the specific clinical treatment plan also requires experienced clinicians to choose the corresponding treatment plan according to the patient’s situation – there are thousands of plans, and the most suitable one is the best. To formulate the best treatment plan, the clinician needs to make a decision according to the actual situation of the sisters. Therefore, you must actively cooperate with the doctor to treat, in order to better protect your health!


How to achieve high-quality survival for breast cancer patients after recurrence and metastasis, here is a questionnaire on the quality of life of breast cancer patients, waiting for you to participate. Let us work together to contribute to better treatment and survival of breast cancer patients! Scan the QR code below to participate!

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