Treatment options in metastatic breast cancer

Selecting a treatment option

Women with metastatic breast cancer have several treatment options to consider. Your pathology report, which contains detailed information about your diagnosis, plays an important role in defining your treatment plan. You and your doctor can use this information to make treatment decisions.

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Hormonal treatment

Hormonal treatment, which travels in the bloodstream, has been prescribed to treat hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer for many years and may be used to reduce the growth or spread of breast cancer. If cancer is the type that may be sensitive to estrogen, hormonal treatment may keep estrogen from helping the cancer cells to grow and divide. The presence of hormone receptors in the tumor is the best way to predict response to hormonal treatment for breast cancer. Speak to your doctor about the different types of hormonal treatments—you may have been prescribed a hormonal therapy at a different point in your treatment journey.

 
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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, which travels in the bloodstream, is the use of drugs that target and destroy cancer cells. It can be used in breast cancer to shrink cancerous tumors.

 
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Biologically targeted therapy

Biologically targeted systemic therapies fight cancer by targeting specific features of cancer cells. For example, there are specific treatments that target breast cancer cells that make too much of a protein called HER2/neu. This targeted therapy can block the effects of the HER2/neu proteins, limiting tumor cell growth. This type of therapy may be added to chemotherapy treatments.

 
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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves or streams of particles to hinder the growth of or kill cancer cells. It can be used after breast-conserving surgery, after mastectomy, or to treat metastatic tumors in the bones or brain. Depending on where in the body cancer has spread, radiation therapy can also be used in the chest wall, breast, and lymph nodes. Radiation therapy is referred to as a local therapy because it treats a specific area of the body instead of the entire body.

 
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Surgery

Surgery is not commonly used in metastatic breast cancer but may be an option for some women. Surgery may be used (either in conjunction with radiation therapy or on its own) to help avoid broken bones, cancer cell blockages in the liver, or to ease pain and other symptoms. Like radiation, surgery is considered a local therapy because it treats a specific area of the body instead of the entire body.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

    You should not receive FASLODEX if you have had an allergic reaction to fulvestrant or any of the ingredients in FASLODEX. Talk to your health care provider if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction to FASLODEX, which may include itching or hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; and trouble breathing.

    Before receiving FASLODEX, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have a low level of platelets in your blood or bleed easily. Especially tell your health care provider if you take a blood thinner medicine (anticoagulant)
  • Have liver problems
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, because FASLODEX can harm your unborn baby. Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with FASLODEX and for 1 year after the final dose. Tell your health care provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant while on FASLODEX
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if FASLODEX passes into breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with FASLODEX and for 1 year after the final dose. Talk to your health care provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time

Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. FASLODEX may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how FASLODEX works.

FASLODEX is administered by your health care provider as an injection into the muscle of each buttock. Your health care provider may change your dose of FASLODEX if needed.

FASLODEX may cause injection site–related nerve damage. Call your health care provider if you develop any of the following symptoms in your legs following a FASLODEX injection: numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Common side effects of FASLODEX include injection site pain; nausea; muscle, joint, and bone pain; headache; tiredness; hot flashes; vomiting; loss of appetite; weakness; cough; shortness of breath; constipation; increased liver enzymes; and diarrhea.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects with FASLODEX. For more information, ask your health care provider or pharmacist. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-10881-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Uses for FASLODEX

FASLODEX is a prescription medicine used to treat women with:

  • Hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and have not been previously treated with endocrine therapy
  • HR-positive advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and whose disease has progressed after endocrine therapy
  • HR-positive, HER2‐negative advanced breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), in combination with palbociclib or abemaciclib, in women whose disease has progressed after endocrine therapy

When FASLODEX is used in combination with palbociclib, please also see the palbociclib Patient Information.

When FASLODEX is used in combination with abemaciclib, please also see the abemaciclib Patient Information.

It is not known if FASLODEX is safe and effective in children or in people with severe liver problems.

Please see FASLODEX Prescribing Information with Patient Information (Medication Guide).

 
 
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

    You should not receive FASLODEX if you have had an allergic reaction to fulvestrant or any of the ingredients in FASLODEX. Talk to your health care provider if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction to FASLODEX, which may include itching or hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; and trouble breathing.

    Before receiving FASLODEX, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have a low level of platelets in your blood or bleed easily. Especially tell your health care provider if you take a blood thinner medicine (anticoagulant)
  • Have liver problems
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, because FASLODEX can harm your unborn baby. Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with FASLODEX and for 1 year after the final dose. Tell your health care provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant while on FASLODEX
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if FASLODEX passes into breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with FASLODEX and for 1 year after the final dose. Talk to your health care provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time

Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. FASLODEX may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how FASLODEX works.

FASLODEX is administered by your health care provider as an injection into the muscle of each buttock. Your health care provider may change your dose of FASLODEX if needed.

FASLODEX may cause injection site–related nerve damage. Call your health care provider if you develop any of the following symptoms in your legs following a FASLODEX injection: numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Common side effects of FASLODEX include injection site pain; nausea; muscle, joint, and bone pain; headache; tiredness; hot flashes; vomiting; loss of appetite; weakness; cough; shortness of breath; constipation; increased liver enzymes; and diarrhea.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects with FASLODEX. For more information, ask your health care provider or pharmacist. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-10881-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Uses for FASLODEX

FASLODEX is a prescription medicine used to treat women with:

  • Hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and have not been previously treated with endocrine therapy
  • HR-positive advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and whose disease has progressed after endocrine therapy
  • HR-positive, HER2‐negative advanced breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), in combination with palbociclib or abemaciclib, in women whose disease has progressed after endocrine therapy

When FASLODEX is used in combination with palbociclib, please also see the palbociclib Patient Information.

When FASLODEX is used in combination with abemaciclib, please also see the abemaciclib Patient Information.

It is not known if FASLODEX is safe and effective in children or in people with severe liver problems.

Please see FASLODEX Prescribing Information with Patient Information (Medication Guide).