Myth #: If An Earlier
Ninety percent of MBC diagnoses occur in people who have already been treated for an earlier-stage breast cancer. Many people are under the impression that remaining cancer-free for 5 years means that a metastatic recurrence cant happen. However, distant recurrences can occur several years or even decades after initial diagnosis. Factors such as original tumor size and the number of lymph nodes involved can help predict the risk of recurrence.
For example, a 2017 survey of 88 studies involving nearly 63,000 women diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer found that the risk of distant recurrence within 20 years ranged from 13% to 41%, depending on tumor size and lymph node involvement.1
As KatyK of Idaho comments: that you are cured if you are cancer-free 5 years after initial diagnosis. I fell for that one myself. When I was diagnosed with MBC 12 years after initial diagnosis I was shocked. I thought I was cured, which to me means all better. Nope! Not even sure medically what cured means.
How Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Treatedand Whats The Survival Rate
While every stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis is differentwhich means the methods used to treat it will also differthis stage of breast cancer is usually treated systemically , since the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body. Systemic treatments usually include options like hormone therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, according to the NCI.
Still, those treatments vary depending on a variety of factors, including where the cancer is located, as well as the patients symptoms, overall health, and previous cancer treatmentsand patients are closely monitored throughout treatment for the best outcome. Patients are generally started on the treatment of best reflex or biology and followed closely using scans, with change in treatments as needed if the current treatment is not resulting and either shrinkage or stability of the breast cancer, Dr. Tripathy explains.
In addition to more standard systemic treatment options, Dr. Tripathy explains that there are newer technologies being increasingly usedlike ones that sequence the DNA of cancerous tumor cells for more specified treatmentsas well as various clinical trials designed to offer more options and possibly better outcomes to those dealing with the disease.
Stage 4 Cancer Survivor
Larry: Well hey I really appreciate you sharing your story and everything and I hope that you stay cancer free the rest of your life.
Ah me too. And if it happens to come back I know how to deal with it!
Larry: Okay dear. Well thank-you very much for your interview and thank-you for letting me share it with others. Okay?
Larry: Alright you take care and you have a great day.
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Advanced Cancer That Progresses During Treatment
Treatment for advanced breast cancer can often shrink the cancer or slow its growth , but after a time, it tends to stop working. Further treatment options at this point depend on several factors, including previous treatments, where the cancer is located, and a woman’s age, general health, and desire to continue getting treatment.
Has Anyone Never Survived Stage 4 Stomach Cancer
Pancreatic disease . Because of its lobulated texture, many surgeons and pathologists call the pancreas “the hamburger”. Remember that the islands make up about 15% of the organ’s weight. Why i share my story karen and stage 4 colon. Apr 27, 2010 there’s a small subcategory of people with stage 4 breast cancer, it turned that have been poured into breast cancer research, hardly anyone has looked full essay, 17 years later, stage 4 survivor is savoring a life well lived, and. Seven years later, the cancer spread to my lungs and stomach. How much time left at stage 4 lung cancer forum cancer. Hi, my aunt went to the hospital last week and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t know which of the two types it is, but the doctors said it was. My friend was diagnosed with 4th stage stomach. I would highly recommend him to anyone with ec requiring surgery. Diagnosed april 7, 2003 with stage 4 ec, i had chemo, radiation, ivorlewis august 2003 at. Knowledge in treatment of barrett’s and esophageal cancer and never give up hope. Stomach pullup has the pouch laying right between left lung and heart. Survivor stories debbiesdream. Search only for has anyone never survived stage 4 stomach cancer.
Chondrosarcoma questions. In order to understand chondrosarcoma, it is useful to know about normal bone tissue. What is normal bone tissue? Bone is the supporting framework of the body.
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Clinical Trials Are A Promising Treatment Option
For people with advanced stages of cancer, clinical trials can be considered the gold standard of treatment. I recommend clinical trials highly, says Rosen. You get access to medication and treatment that you normally wouldnt have.
A clinical trial could even have positive results on your cancer. We are living in an exciting time for cancer treatment, says Kimmick. There are myriad new drugs coming out that will improve the lives of all women with breast cancer, both metastatic and early stage.
However, its important to be realistic about the potential outcome of your trial. Rosen was recently enrolled in a clinical trial in which the medication proved toxic for her. But she has no regrets about participating. It feels like Im helping researchers who are working on cures for cancer, she says. When I had a bad reaction to the drug, they were able to put my side effects in their study. I feel like I did help, and that makes me happy.
People interested in joining a clinical trial for treatment should talk to their doctor about options that might be good for them.
How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Cancer
Doctors usually give a prognosis for cancer in terms of an estimated survival rate over 5 years. These survival rates are a rough guide based on data from thousands of other people with a similar cancer and stage.
Survival rates vary depending on the location or type of cancer. Despite how far cancer spreads, doctors will still refer to the type of cancer by where it started.
The stage 4 survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancers include the following:
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Diagnosis Of Stage 4 Breast Cancer
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have further tests to determine the extent that the cancer has spread throughout the body. This is called staging. It helps you and your doctors decide on the best treatment options for you.
In addition the numbered staging system, the TNM staging system is also commonly used for breast cancer staging.
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. they’re 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 doesn’t 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 he’s 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.
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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Prognosis Of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
The prognosis of Liver Cancer Stage 4 is very poor when cancer is advanced into the complex situation. However, if the tumour size is small and also it is confined to the liver itself, then the situation is better. Ablative Therapies and Surgical Resection or Liver Transplantation can be curative, and patient can improve with the progress of time.
Many Women Live For Decades With Metastatic Breast Cancer
A stage 4 diagnosis is not an instant death sentence, says Renee Sendelbach, 40, from Austin, Texas, who was diagnosed seven years ago, when she learned that her breast cancer had moved into her lungs, bones, and lymph nodes.
Ive had metastatic breast cancer for five years and Im still kicking, says Susan Rosen, 53, from Franklin, Massachusetts.
According to a 2017 article in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 34 percent of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have been living with the disease for five years or longer.
The goal of treatment is to keep patients on their feet as long as possible so that they can continue to do what they want to do, says Gretchen Kimmick, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina.
In recent years, treatment for breast cancer has vastly improved, largely because doctors are able to more accurately target therapy to the type of breast cancer a woman has. The discovery of the HER2 protein and medicines that block it has revolutionized treatment for women with cancers that overexpress this protein, Dr. Kimmick says. This cancer was pretty deadly two decades ago, and now we are starting to debate if weve cured it in some women.
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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.
Myth #: People With Metastatic Breast Cancer Have A Short Amount Of Time Left
While some people mistakenly think MBC is curable, at the other extreme are those who assume its an immediate death sentence. But there is a big difference between stage IV incurable cancer, which MBC is, and terminal cancer, which can no longer be treated. A person isnt automatically terminal when she or he gets a metastatic diagnosis. Although MBC almost certainly will shorten someones life, it often can be managed for years at a time.
As Illimae of Houston points out: Stage IV is not an immediate death sentence. It feels that way at first but many have months/years of reasonably decent condition. Brain mets are not necessarily the end either. When found early and treated, especially with minimal disease in the body, life can resume to a fairly normal state.
Mermaid007 adds: hen I was diagnosed with bone mets I felt I needed to go home and get my affairs in order when here I am 4 and half years later.
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Myth #: If Youre Diagnosed With Metastatic Breast Cancer You Did Something Wrong Or Didnt Get The Right Treatment The First Time
When some people hear stage IV breast cancer, they assume something must have been missed along the way to let the cancer get that far. There is a misconception that breast cancer always develops in orderly steps from stages I to II, III, and then IV and that theres plenty of time to catch it early. People with MBC can face misguided assumptions that they must have skipped mammograms or self-exams, or they didnt control risk factors such as not exercising enough, watching their weight, or eating healthy. But a person can do everything right and still get MBC. Although regular screenings increase the odds of diagnosing breast cancer at an earlier stage, they cant guarantee it.
Another major misconception: If youre diagnosed with metastatic cancer after being treated for an early-stage breast cancer, you must have chosen the wrong treatment regimen or it wasnt aggressive enough. But between 20% and 30% of people with an earlier-stage breast cancer will eventually go on to develop MBC and theres often no good explanation as to why. And it can happen to anyone. Treatments can reduce the risk of recurrence, but they cant eliminate it.
As Illimae of Houston notes: that a stage IV diagnosis equals negligence on the part of the patient. In my case, it had spread before I ever felt a lump. I felt it Saturday and saw my doc on Monday, I ignored nothing, sometimes it just happens that fast.
Survival Rate With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Many people wonder about the life expectancy for stage 4 breast cancer . It’s important to note that everyone is different and survival rates vary widely. There are some people who survive many years and even decades with stage 4 disease. At the same time, it’s important to understand that stage 4 breast cancer isn’t curable.
It can be helpful to look at current statistics and consider the many variables that affect life expectancy. While it’s important not to raise false hope, it may help to know the reality that there are some long-term survivors.
Some people want to know the statistics, but many don’t. If you’re living with stage 4 breast cancer, there is absolutely no requirement that you know the prognosis. The information provided here is only for those who truly wish to know what the current research iseven this research has many limitations.
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Myth #: Metastatic Breast Cancer Is Curable
Whether metastatic breast cancer is someones first diagnosis or a recurrence after treatment for earlier-stage breast cancer, it cant be cured. However, treatments can keep it under control, often for months at a time. People with MBC report fielding questions from family and friends such as, When will you finish your treatments? or Wont you be glad when youre done with all of this? The reality is they will be in treatment for the rest of their lives.
A typical pattern is to take a treatment regimen as long as it keeps the cancer under control and the side effects are tolerable. If it stops working, a patient can switch to another option. There may be periods of time when the cancer is well-controlled and a person can take a break. But people with MBC need to be in treatment for the rest of their lives.
As Breastcancer.org Community member Vlnprh of Wisconsin comments: The vast majority of people have no idea what MBC treatment involves. They somehow think that you will undergo something similar to early-stage patients surgery, radiation, chemo, whatever and then be done. They want to see you as a pink-tutu-wearing cheerleader jumping up and down declaring that you have beaten this disease
Amarantha of France writes: The one I get over and over is, How long will you be on this chemo? I mean doesn’t it end sometime? Yes, it ends when it stops working and then we go on to another treatment lather, rinse, repeat I guess until we run out of options.
Beating The Odds: Long
Doctors often give metastatic cancer patients an estimated survival time based on statistical averages, but some people have far outlived those predictions. How did they do it?
Join us as we bring together an oncology expert and a group of longtime metastatic cancer survivors to discuss how they beat the odds. From lifestyle choices and medical treatments to just plain luck, our guests share tips and strategies they feel contributed to their longevity. Youll also hear an experts recommendations for improving your life as a survivor.
As always, our guests answer questions from the audience.
Welcome to this HealthTalk webcast. Before we begin, we remind you that the opinions expressed on this webcast are solely the views of our guests. They are not necessarily the views of HealthTalk, our sponsors or any outside organization. And, as always, please consult your own physician for the medical advice most appropriate for you.
Now heres your host.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, you are probably all too familiar with those dreaded four words The cancer has spread. But as advances in cancer treatment continue, people with metastatic cancer are living for longer periods of time. Hello and welcome to this HealthTalk webcast, Beating the Odds: Long-Term Survival with Metastatic Cancer. Im your host and cancer survivor, Kelly Guenther.
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