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Can I Survive Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Chance Of Remission And Recurrence

Stage 4 Breast Cancer: Is It a Death Sentence?

When cancer goes into remission, tests that look for cancer cannot detect it. A doctor may refer to this pathological complete response.

Treatment may also cause partial remission. This means that treatment has destroyed a portion of the cancer but that tests can still find the cancer.

Stage 4 breast cancer will not go away completely. However, notes that treatment can help control the cancer for years. It notes that the cancer can be active at times and go into remission at other times.

Because stage 4 breast cancer is not curable, it will not disappear and then recur.

Recurrence Of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is considered a chronic disease, so it doesnt go away and recur.

But in recent years, people under age 50 have seen a particularly strong decline in death rates due to breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

These declines are due in part to improved screening and treatment for the disease.

There are a few general facts that are helpful to know about breast cancer outlook:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the United States, according to the

Understanding The Nature Of Stage 4 Cancer

A person with stage 4 cancer may not feel ready to face the likelihood of death, which causes them to be willing to try any kind of treatment, even with a small chance of success, according to the study.

Sometimes, doctors do not speak in straightforward terms with patients about the limited chances of success in curing stage 4 cancer. Patients need to ask questions of doctors about the actual chances of recovery when facing stage 4 cancer. They also should ask about the benefits of hospice care, such as those outlined by the Mayo Clinic.

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Myth #: Metastatic Breast Cancer Is A Single Type Of Cancer That Will Be Treated The Same Way For Every Person

The label metastatic contributes to the myth that it is one kind of breast cancer. But like earlier-stage breast cancers, stage IV cancers can have different characteristics that will guide treatment choices. They can test positive or negative for hormone receptors and/or an abnormal HER2 gene the gene that causes the cells to make too many copies of HER2 proteins that can fuel cancer growth. These test results guide treatment choices.

For triple-negative stage IV cancers meaning they test negative for hormone receptors and an abnormal HER2 gene testing for PD-L1 is becoming more common. PD-L1 is a checkpoint protein found on the surface of healthy cells that prevents the bodys immune system T-cells from attacking them. Some breast cancer cells also have large amounts of PD-L1 on their surfaces, which helps shield them from the bodys immune response. Newer immunotherapies are being used to treat PD-L1-positive MBC.

Furthermore, treatment choices can depend on a persons age, overall health, and whether there are other medical conditions present.

The bottom line? Treatments vary. DivineMrsM of Ohio says it well: There is the misconception that there is one standardized treatment for every case of MBC, like a one size fits all. But there are different approaches and it cant always be said that one approach is better than another. Most people dont realize different subcategories of this disease.

Stage 4 Cancer Treatment Options

Breast Cancer Stage 4

When it comes to treating Stage 4 cancer, there are a few different commonly used methods, which we will examine below.

Please keep in mind that whether or not an individual is a candidate for the following treatment options depends upon certain variables so it is always best to consult your doctor directly to find out which treatment option is most appropriate for you.

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Local Or Regional Treatments For Stage Iv Breast Cancer

Although systemic drugs are the main treatment for stage IV breast cancer, local and regional treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, or regional chemotherapy are sometimes used as well. These can help treat breast cancer in a specific part of the body, but they are very unlikely to get rid of all of the cancer. These treatments are more likely to be used to help prevent or treat symptoms or complications from the cancer.

Radiation therapy and/or surgery may also be used in certain situations, such as:

  • When the breast tumor is causing an open or painful wound in the breast
  • To treat a small number of metastases in a certain area, such as the brain
  • To help prevent or treat bone fractures
  • When a cancer is pressing on the spinal cord
  • To treat a blood vessel blockage in the liver
  • To provide relief of pain or other symptoms anywhere in the body

In some cases, regional chemo may be useful as well.

If your doctor recommends such local or regional treatments, it is important that you understand the goalwhether it is to try to cure the cancer or to prevent or treat symptoms.

Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Advanced breast cancer refers to cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. This process of spreading from the original location to a new location is known as metastasis.

The most common places of breast cancer spread include the bones, liver, lung, and brain. However, breast cancer may also spread to other organs.

The majority of women who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have been diagnosed with an earlier stage of breast cancer before. In this instance, the original cancer in the breast is called the primary cancer. However, for some women, a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer may be their first diagnosis of cancer .

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Symptoms Of Metastatic Breast Cancer

The symptoms of stage 4 breast cancer depend on the location of the cancer and where it has spread in your body.

  • If breast cancer has spread to your bones, you may notice a sudden new bone pain. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to your ribs, spine, pelvis, or arm and leg bones.
  • If it has spread to your brain, you may experience headaches, vision or speech changes, or memory problems.
  • Breast cancer that has spread to your lungs or liver usually causes no symptoms.

The main treatments for stage 4 breast cancer are targeted drug therapies that destroy cancer cells wherever they are in your body.

These treatments may include:

  • hormone therapy, which stops or slows the growth of tumors by preventing your body from producing hormones or interfering with the effect of hormones on breast cancer cells
  • chemotherapy, where drugs given orally or through an IV travel through your bloodstream to fight cancer cells
  • immunotherapy, which uses drugs that stimulate your immune system to destroy cancer cells
  • a combination of these therapies

In some cases, surgery or radiation therapy may be used to treat stage 4 breast cancer.

The following are the common treatment options for different types of stage 4 breast cancer.

Can You Actually Survive Stage 4 Breast Cancer Nowadays

Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diet For Survival


Thanks in advance for any advice or answers.

Am sorry to trouble you but am confused about what i have read and what i have been told.

I have been told by a medical team that advanced breast cancer can be loooked at just like a chronic illness in some circumstances

And I have also read recently that advanced breast cancer has an excellent survival rate,.

But what is excellent in these circumstances? I want to be positive but also realistic.

I read tales where people are happy that either themselves, their friends or relatives made it to 5 years, which indeed is lovely.

And I know this may sound odd or maybe ungrateful but Is this considered excellent?

I always thought with chronic illnesses you just lived a normal life span but carried on with treatment.

Has anyone ever made it to 10, 20, 30,or even 40 years?

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Support For Living With Secondary Breast Cancer In The Liver

Everyones experience of being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer is different, and people cope in their own way.

For many people, uncertainty can be the hardest part of living with secondary breast cancer.

You may find it helpful to talk to someone else whos had a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer.

  • Chat to other people living with secondary breast cancer on our online Forum.
  • Meet other women with a secondary diagnosis and get information and support at a Living with Secondary Breast Cancer meet-up.
  • Live Chat is a weekly private chat room where you can talk about whatevers on your mind.

You can also call Breast Cancer Nows Helpline free on 0808 800 6000.

Hormone Receptor Status And Her2 Status

Triple negative IBC are hormone receptor-negative and HER2-negative. Triple negative IBC and IBC that are hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative tend to have a worse prognosis than other IBC .

Hormone receptor-negative breast cancers, such as triple negative IBC, can be treated with chemotherapy, but they cant be treated with hormone therapy.

HER2-positive breast cancers can be treated with chemotherapy and with trastuzumab and other HER2-targeted therapies. So, women with HER2-positive IBC tend to have better survival than women with HER2-negative IBC .

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Cancer: Stage 4 Breast Cancer

It was a Saturday on March 2012 when Vickie and her husband were sitting with a friend and his wife at a McDonalds outlet in Hong Kong. Shed had a biopsy the day before and was supposed to call the doctor for the preliminary results. The result of the pathology report changed her life forever that instant. Vickie was initially diagnosed with stage 3B breast cancer. Then cancer was detected in every single vertebrae, both sides of the pelvis, and one rib on January 2, 2013. Her diagnosis was changed to stage 4. Then come July 2013, a new lesion formed in the left hip socket, in a couple of ribs, and in the sternum.

Since the diagnosis, Vickie has had eight chemotherapy sessions. She was revised to metastatic and has been to the infusion center almost every month for her Xgeva shot. With new lesions showing up in her spine and left hip socket, her treatment plans had to be changed and she was in a clinical trial in November 2013. The clinical trial combined an established drug with a trial drug, which could lead cancer treatment into a promising new direction. After the progression of the cancer to the liver in 2014, she was put on a new treatment. The lesions in the hip were more active with the tumor markers slowly creeping up since December, which meant time to yet again change treatment plans. In December 2015, the last oral option available to her failed and she was switched over to IV chemotherapy.

What Doesn’t Affect Survival

Breast Cancer Stages

Just as there are factors associated with a better or worse prognosis, there are some factors that do not appear to make a big difference. These are generally less understood by the general public:

  • Aggressiveness of treatment
  • Having a positive attitude

The goal of treatment for metastatic breast cancer is often very different than that of early-stage disease, and this can raise anxiety among patients and loved ones of patients. With early-stage breast cancer, the goal is usually to be aggressive in order to reduce the risk that the cancer will come back.

In contrast, with stage 4 disease, the goal is usually to use the minimum amount of treatment possible to control the disease . Studies have found that more aggressive treatment does not improve survival rates but does reduce quality of life.

While having a good attitude may improve your sense of well-being, it has not been shown to affect survival rates. In fact, holding in negative emotions in order to appear positive may be detrimental to your health in general.

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Why Are Black Women Less Likely To Stick With A Breast Cancer Follow

Now Chrysalis intervenes on behalf of Black women, like one who’d just had surgery.

“They were trying to send her home that same day,” Rivers says. “They did not want to provide her with an at home nurse or to provide care. And this was all just based off an assumption that she’s Black, so she must be poor. She must not have sufficient insurance.”

Rivers has expanded her advocacy by becoming president of Metavivor, a non-profit that raises money for metastatic breast cancer research. Rivers figures she’s helped thousands of women, including herself. She’s been NED no evidence of disease for a couple of years now. So she hopes to have the strength and the determination to help thousands more Black breast cancer patients going forward.

We get answers to stopping this disease.

Michael Kovarik

Are All Stage 4 Cancer Cases Terminal

My Father in law has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in Lungs, Liver & bone marrow.

He is under initial diagnosis & the consulatnt has told us he can survive for a maximum of 6 months without any treatment. theyre suggesting him to under go chemotherapy so that the pain can be minised and he can prolong his life.

just want a realistic prognosis as i want to know as much as possible to be able to prepare as best as i can, my wife doesnt want to know the detail and is pregnant now, she just keeps asking for confirmation and reassurance that her father will be cured. we are positive and only have discussions that focus on what we will do when hes feelling better.

I have tried to talk to the consultant and specialist nurse but both sort of make me feel like i am being negative but just mentioning prognosis.

need to understand what our options are and how we can proceed further. if you have any information regarding this please let me know.

Hi bharanink

Hi bharanink

No not all stage 4 cancers are terminal but the % chances of surviving for five years is very low.

The consultant can only give you an estimation of how long he will live without treatment and this is usually based on how fast and far the cancer has spread. His reaction to chemo will also depend on various factors including his present health condition. Many people have had treatment and are surviving others unfortunatly do not there is no guarantee.

Best wishes. River

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Stage 4 Prostate Cancer And Treatments

A stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis means that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, usually to either the adrenal glands, bones, lungs, or liver.

Treatment for stage 4 prostate cancer can involve removing the prostate and providing hormone therapy. Hormone blocking therapy reduces the amount of testosterone in the body, in order to help slow the growth of the cancer or shrink it. This type of hormone therapy is sometimes used alongside testicle removal, on a case by case basis. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also occasionally used.

What Is The Average Stage Four Cancer Life Expectancy

4 Years with Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survivor Reflection

There is no average stage four cancer life expectancy which is relevant amongst all types of cancer. Some cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, have a very short expected survival rate while others, such as testicular cancer, may have a high survival rate. Many patients who are diagnosed with stage four cancer will not live one year. Others may survive five years, or more, depending on where the primary cancer is located and where it has spread.

Cancer is classified as being in stage four when cancer cells have spread from the original, or primary, location to other areas of the body. This would include areas which are farthest from the site of the primary cancer. The overall stage four life expectancy is much lower than that of lower stages of cancer. Many patients die well before five years, with many passing after only a few months to one year.

Some types of cancer may be more responsive to treatments than others, even in the later stages. Cancer of the testes are one example. The overall five year survival rate for testicular cancer patients with stage four disease is 95%.

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Stage 4 Patients Can Live For Years

The 5 year survival rates listed in the chart above are NOT intended to scare you, but rather to inform you of the average, approximate ratesfor each type of cancer we have explored in this article. The fact is, Stage 4 cancer patients can live for YEARS, and these statistics are just that, statistics. They do not define your experience and do not mean that you cannot beat cancer and thrive!

Clinical Trials For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Because of how severe stage 4 breast cancer often is, many treatment options are not as effective as they are in early stages. Many advanced cancer patients turn to clinical trials to seek new treatments. Clinical trials. Before therapies for cancer can be approved by the FDA and are considered standard of care, they need to go through several phases of clinical trials to ensure they are both safe for patients and effective at treating their disease.

Clinical trials are also available for patients of other stages. However, there are fewer available therapies as the disease progresses, so clinical trials are sometimes viewed as the last stage treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer clinical trials offer the latest drugs in cancer research that target the genetic makeup of the tumor, which can lead to fewer side effects and improved responses to therapies.

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