Metastatic, or “advanced,” breast cancer is cancer that started in the breast tissue but that has spread to other parts of the body. The most common sites where breast cancer can spread are the bones, lungs, liver, and brain. Disease that has spread to other parts of the body is still considered breast cancer because the type of cancer cell remains the same. Although metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured, there are options available to treat the disease.
You are not alone—there are people going through similar experiences who may be able to provide guidance and support for you. You can connect with them through these organizations.
Information is also available for your family and friends as they support you through your diagnosis and treatment.
There are different subtypes of breast cancer. Each subtype behaves and responds to treatment in a different way. Because of this, your treatment for breast cancer will depend on what subtype of the disease you have. A doctor can determine the subtype of the disease by looking at a sample of the breast cancer tissue.
Each subtype has specific receptors that can tell your cancer to grow. Receptors include
If the cancer has a specific type of receptor, it is positive for that receptor. For example, a cancer with the hormone receptor ER is called ER-positive, or ER+, disease. A cancer may be positive for more than 1 type of receptor. This means that your disease can have the following receptor statuses:
It is also possible for a cancer to be negative for all 3 receptors. This type of cancer is called triple-negative disease. When breast cancer is triple-negative, it means that there are no estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 receptors in the tumor cells telling the cancer to grow. Triple-negative breast cancer is considered to be more aggressive because it is more likely to spread and also more likely to come back after treatment. Triple-negative breast cancer is often treated with a chemotherapy or with a combination of different types of therapies.
It is important to talk to your doctor about the treatment options available to you based on the receptor status of your cancer.
HALAVEN is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, and who have already received other types of anticancer medicines after the cancer has spread.What safety information do I need to know about HALAVEN?
HALAVEN can cause serious side effects, including
Before you receive HALAVEN, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of HALAVEN?
HALAVEN can cause changes in your heartbeat (called QT prolongation). This can cause irregular heartbeats. Your health care provider may do heart monitoring (electrocardiogram or ECG) or blood tests during your treatment with HALAVEN to check for heart problems.
The most common side effects of HALAVEN in adults with breast cancer include low white blood cell count (neutropenia), low red blood cell count (anemia), weakness or tiredness, hair loss (alopecia), nausea, and constipation.
Your health care provider will do blood tests before and during treatment while you are taking HALAVEN.
For more information about HALAVEN, please see full Prescribing Information.