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Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.
At Your Appointment

Metastatic Breast Cancer Appointment Guide

Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • What are your goals in treating your metastatic breast cancer?
  • Are you experiencing any side effects from the metastatic breast cancer treatments?
  • Are you having any pain or other symptoms? Do these symptoms interfere with your ability to perform activities of daily living?
  • Are you having any issues with anxiety or depression?
  • Are you interested in getting a second opinion about metastatic breast cancer or its treatment?
  • Would you like to learn more about current clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer treatments?
  • What was the stage and grade of your first breast cancer?
  • Was your first breast cancer HER2-positive or triple negative?
  • Are you having any breast symptoms?
  • Do you have any symptoms outside the breasts, such as bone or joint pain, dizziness, headache, nausea, or shortness of breath?
  • Do you have any symptoms that interfere with your ability to perform activities of daily living?
  • Do you have a family history of other cancers?
  • Have you had any testing, including blood tests or imaging exams?
  • What kind of emotional and social support do you have to help you cope with metastatic breast cancer?
  • What tests do I need to find out how far the cancer has spread?
  • Has my metastatic cancer been tested genetically to see which treatments may be best for me? Which tests have been done?
  • What is my prognosis? How does it affect the goal of metastatic breast cancer treatment?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatment you are recommending?
  • Are there advanced treatments or clinical trials of treatments that would be options for me?
  • What are my options if I no longer want to pursue active treatment for metastatic cancer?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have metastatic breast cancer?
  • Could my symptoms be caused by another medical condition or noncancerous tumor?
  • What tests do I need to find out whether it is metastatic breast cancer and how advanced it is?
  • Are there tests that can guide my best treatment options?
  • How long will it take to get the results of the diagnostic tests?
  • How do you treat metastatic breast cancer?
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Medical Reviewer: Jenny Yu, MD FACS
Last Review Date: 2023 Mar 28
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Gennari, A., et al. (2021). ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. https://www.annalsofoncology.org/article/S0923-7534(21)04498-7/fulltext
  2. Metastatic breast cancer.https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/metastatic/
  3. Treatment of stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer. (2023). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/treatment-of-breast-cancer-by-stage/treatment-of-stage-iv-advanced-breast-cancer.html