How have metastatic breast cancer? Two patients share stories and fears

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Have breast cancer It is a challenge for every woman. When it spreads and affects other organs, the struggle is even greater. The fear of death and the will to live are skin deep and, at times they seem opposites, in other come into line in the search for more, or better, time. We spoke with women who have the disease to understand - at least somewhat - how they feel. See below.

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Metastatic breast cancer: what is it?

The oncologist Rafael Kaliks, scientific director of the Institute Oncoguia explains that breast cancer arises as a result of a mutation of the genetic material of a cell that ends up not being cleared by the immune system and is divided in a disorderly manner. The ability of this cell has to come off the circulation and spread throughout the body is what determines whether there will be metastasis.
The expert explains that the most common is that the cells are directed toward the liver, lungs, bones and lymph nodes. But other organs such as the uterus, for example, may also be affected.


Rafael Kaliks explains that, in general, there are two situations: either the woman's enough in the office with the most advanced disease or at an earlier stage. For women at an early stage the incidence of metastasis is 10% at this time, for patients with more advanced disease the number may reach 40%.


Most of the time the metastatic breast cancer It is treated and survival time varies from patient to patient and according to the type. "The breast cancer HER-2 adequately addressed type may lead to an average of 5 years, tumor hormone receptor also has a good survival time and triple negative cancer which does not have the HER-2 protein or receptors hormonal, have lower survival"Explains the oncologist.

If there hormonal receptors in the tumor, hormone therapy is used. For women with HER-2 protein can be made anti-her therapy 2. If the tumor is triple negative - no marcadores- these two, it is best to chemotherapy and radiation. The oncologist explained that during the treatment, quality of life can be excellent. "Even chemotherapy and radiotherapy have variations on that side effects are minimal".

How have metastatic breast cancer


Maria de Lurdes Lima dos Santos, better known as Netinha, has 39 years and two children, one 19 and another 11 years. It was in 2009 that she discovered the breast cancer, treated then with chemo and radiation.

A few years later, in 2013, he discovered some Netinha metastases. "The cancer had spread to all the organs, just had not gone to the intestine, uterus and stomach. Liver, pancreas, mediastinum, peritoneum, skullcap and general bones were all with metastasis", said. Treatment began immediately afterwards. There were 45 sessions of chemotherapy and some surgery to remove the cancerous tissue.
Granddaughter explains that today is still on medication, but it takes a normal life. "Just as some people take medicine for high blood pressure, I take medicine for metastatic cancer".

According to the oncologist Rafael Kaliks, in fact, the tendency is for the treatment of metastatic cancer pass to be addressed more and more like a chronic disease. "As the treatments are improving, you can control the disease and live with it any longer"He explains.

With controlled cancer Netinha devotes much of her time helping other women with the same diagnosis. "I realized that whatever we spend in life becomes a mission, perhaps my mission is to tell these patients that there is life in metastatic breast cancer is not a death sentence, we live!".

Granddaughter visit hospitals and clinics, takes scarves and words to other women. She also has a Facebook page called Faith and cancer, which seeks to do the same. "Cancer makes you look at life in a different way, I stopped complaining and started to look at what I have. Today I breathe without machines, way unaided. The strength for this comes from the same people, but other people, like my husband, who is a parceirão in calm and bring to reality in difficult times", ends.


Jussara Del Moral - or Supervivente, nickname that adopts in its channel on Youtube - was 43 years old when he discovered breast cancer in 2007. The prognosis was very good because the tumor was discovered at an early stage. After removing a portion of the breast, chemotherapy and radiation, she was fine.

It was in 2009, during routine examinations, which Jussara knew the cancer had spread. "I discovered a no, but several metastases in the lung. I operated, I was bald and chemo again, but [then] was also well again". And in 2013, to feel a "thing high" head, she ran to see what it was. "I had a very large metastases in the skull".

In addition to operating the head bone, Jussara had 20 sessions of radiotherapy treatment that left part of his bald head definitely. Today she uses a capillary prosthesis. "Up here I have no hair so I use this prosthesis attached to my own threads"He explains. "Is very difficult treatment times. In my case, I gained a lot, lost hair, then move to the self-esteem and I am a very proud person, but take a peaceful way, because it happened to me, but it could have been anyone, do not look guilty".

After treatment, the bone prosthesis that replaces part of the skull became infected and Jussara had to do another surgery. "Now my head is sunk a little, but I am always with something on your mind, then that is not a beast of 7 heads"He jokes.

having breast cancer 2bolsademulher"I think I'm even sportier now why I changed my values. We give so much value to dumb thing, right? Now I know that is not so"He says.

After a year, more nodules were found in other parts of the skull, and how it can no longer do that radiotherapy of the head, she received oral chemotherapy to control cancer.
Today, with 51 years, it also makes targeted therapy, a treatment that acts directly on cancer cells without attacking healthy, and hormone therapy.

having breast cancer 3oncoguiaNetinha and Jussara Institute are part of a group of women with metastatic breast cancer organized by Oncoguia Institute.

Jussara shares his experiences on your channel on Youtube: Supervivente. "It is a synonym for surviving that matches very well with what I want to go because I live super life! If I can help 10 people with my example of living with the disease without victimizing me, I'm very happy, but I know it will be much more than that".

How to deal with the disease

The psychologist Luciana Holtz, president of Oncoguia Institute, explains that in the beginning, it is very common for women to be scared. But contrary to what many think, is not a rule that these patients have depression, commonly confused with sadness disease, depressive or follow throughout treatment. "The woman oscillates between hope - brought mainly by treatments - and sorrow resulting from the final judgment"Says Luciana.

Each woman will react in a different way, but for the vast majority it is important to understand that one is not alone. Family, friends, doctors and psicólogose support groups can help a lot. It is also important to maintain an active life, exercising and working wherever possible. Other women who are going through the same can also help, as do Netinha and Jussara, each in its own way.

Support groups for women with breast cancer

Ask for groups in hospitals, clinics, NGOs and even health centers near where you live. We prepared a list of some places that can help:

Femama (
Oncoguia Institute (


large northern river
awakening group (

Rio Grande do Sul
Breast Institute (

Santa Catarina

Sao Paulo
Pink Women (

Rio de Janeiro
Adama (

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