What are the signs and symptoms of metastatic breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

A complete examination includes assessment of the axillae and supraclavicular fossae, examination of the chest and sites of skeletal pain, and abdominal and neurologic examinations. The clinician should be alert to symptoms of metastatic spread, such as the following:

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Bone pain

  • Symptoms of hypercalcemia

  • Abdominal distention

  • Jaundice

  • Localizing neurologic signs

  • Altered cognitive function

  • Headache

The clinical evaluation should include a thorough assessment of specific risk factors for breast cancer (see Breast Cancer Risk Factors).


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