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Types & Stages

 
Types & Stages

Chapter: 5 - Types & Stages

Subchapter: 5 - Stage 4

Stage 4 is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, because it has spread to other organs of the body; most often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. This is known as “metastatic cancer”.

If you have been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, the strenuous cycles of treatment can be exhausting. You will need to make careful decisions and plans regarding your condition, but there is no reason to give up on life and relationships. Many women with Stage 4 cancer discover strength of character and qualities of resilience they never knew they had before.

Remember to rely on your supportive group of family and friends. With their care and support, as well as your personal motivation, you will be able invest wholeheartedly in the options at hand, making the most of life for you and your loved ones.

Related Questions

  • anonymous Profile

    Just diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 42. Feel absolutely fine except for neck pain. Waiting for biopsy results but scans show most is early. I need some words of encouragement. Trying to stay optimistic but my mind is everywhere.

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_4 Patient
    over 1 year 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Breast cancer IS NOT a death sentence. You say most scans show it to be early, to me and I'm not a doctor that sounds great. I know the word "cancer" has people's minds racing but you will be OK.

      Comment
    • Gillian Ashworth Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I'm sorry for your news. Like Betti said, it's NOT a death sentence. Google "Leo with cancer" or "Dena Smith", you should find her easily. She was diagnosed w stage 4 quite a few years ago in her early 30's. Her blog is very inspiring!! She's doing great! I really hope you're doing well given the...

      more

      I'm sorry for your news. Like Betti said, it's NOT a death sentence. Google "Leo with cancer" or "Dena Smith", you should find her easily. She was diagnosed w stage 4 quite a few years ago in her early 30's. Her blog is very inspiring!! She's doing great! I really hope you're doing well given the circumstances, it's very hard to understand why all of this happens. Time helps, in my experience. Lots of prayers to you.

      3 comments
  • alison white Profile

    What is the survival rate for stage 4 when it has spread to the bones?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 1 answer
    • Susan Green Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Alison, please go to the CTCA website where you can chat with a professional who deals with all types of cancer care and treatments. They were very helpful to me when I was first diagnosed. I was diagnosed with stage 2a, so can not give you an educated answer, as I believe they can. There are...

      more

      Alison, please go to the CTCA website where you can chat with a professional who deals with all types of cancer care and treatments. They were very helpful to me when I was first diagnosed. I was diagnosed with stage 2a, so can not give you an educated answer, as I believe they can. There are also some really great women on this site who have been through a lot of different cancers and treatments who may also help. Good luck to you! I hope someone can help you!

      Comment
  • Mona Assadi Profile

    I'm 26 and I have been diagnosed with stage 2. Do I need a mastectomy??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am 29 and based on the Size of the lump during ultrasound am borderline stage 1-2. I am doing 8 rounds of chemo before surgery in hopes of shrinking the tumor. Then only a lumpectomy will be needed. There are many different factors to consider though. Genetic testing to see if you are brca1 or...

      more

      I am 29 and based on the Size of the lump during ultrasound am borderline stage 1-2. I am doing 8 rounds of chemo before surgery in hopes of shrinking the tumor. Then only a lumpectomy will be needed. There are many different factors to consider though. Genetic testing to see if you are brca1 or brca2 positive, if there is more than one tumor, etc. Your doctor would be able to tell you if chemo first would be a good option for you. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me. I am more than willing to to help!

      Comment
    • Joan Rosov Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I have had breast cancer twice. Both times I had genetic testing The results really helped in the decision process.

      Comment
  • Angela Kroninger Profile

    My aunt recently got diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. What does this entail and how can I help her?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Nancy Collins Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2002

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or...

      more

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or bandanas. I hated a wig, but I was going through chemo and radiation during the hottest part of the summer, so I wore bandanas. Just be there for her, tell her if she needs anything to let you know. We need to be as independent as we can, so someone hovering over us (me and the people I've met along the way have felt this way) isn't good. If she wants to talk, listen, but let her bring up the topic of cancer. Try to treat her like you would before her diagnosis, which I know is hard. You feel so helpless, but you just being there for her, is the great gift you can give her. She'll go through a lot of emotions, which she may or may not show around you, but PLEASE never take it personal if she gets snappy. Not only are we scared, but our bodies are going through some major changes. She's lucky to have you!!!

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special...

      more

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special yogurt that had extra "healthy bacteria", because I had thrush from the chemo. Another friend who was too far away to visit, sent me a little figurine of one woman with her arm around another. Another friend from my church sent me a greeting card every week to cheer me. My pals from work brought me a gift basket with cozy pajamas, a fluffy throw, and some bath stuff. These are the things that mattered most to me when I was "going through the fire".

      You could make up some meals and freeze them for her. I could only eat soft food for a while so noodle casseroles or soups might be good. If she needs help with housework you could organize a cleaning bee. Most of all, just be there for her without smothering.

      Comment

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