loading... close

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

  • Thumb avatar default

    WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO: Cancer is so limited...It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot destroy peace. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot suppress memories. It cannot silence courage.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      That's awesome Norma, thanks so much for sharing. Very encouraging!

      1 comment
    • Renee' OK Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I love this. Thanks for sharing.

      1 comment
  • Sara Palmer Profile

    My sister was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. We live in different states at the moment, but what can I do to help and support her through her treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would recommend sending lots of cards.
      A friend of mine gave me a small gift after every procedure. This was something nice to look forward to each time. Call her often, listen to her fears and worries. It is a rough road but she will remember the sweet touches.

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Tell her not to google triple negative. The info is outdated and scared me!!! I'm through 2/3 of my treatment and the little triple negative jerk is gone, chemo works well with it!

      Send her cards each week or more often and write personal messages that you love her, youre thinking of her, etc. ...

      more

      Tell her not to google triple negative. The info is outdated and scared me!!! I'm through 2/3 of my treatment and the little triple negative jerk is gone, chemo works well with it!

      Send her cards each week or more often and write personal messages that you love her, youre thinking of her, etc. also, little gifts help--like send her something each week or every 2 weeks or something. Comedy books (Tina fey's bossypants was funny, also the S*%! My dad says helped me when I couldn't sleep. Assuming she's having chemo, send her a few scarves and/or hats. Maybe a thin hat for sleeping.

      Gossip, jokes, all that helps too. Don't make every correspondence about cancer bc she wants to feel normal too.

      See if you can help set up a meal calendar among her friends/neighbors/colleagues. Cooked meals made a difference when I was too run down after chemo to cook.
      Best wishes

      1 comment
  • Susie Wilson Profile

    Stage IIB IDC. Triple negative. First chemo tomorrow. Terrified about side effects. What are the most common side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and...

      more

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and fatigue. They will give you something in your IV drip for nausea plus a prescription as well (usually its Zofran). Be sure to take it as directed BEFORE you get nauseous. My nausea was never bad enough to make my throw up. The meds are great...use them! My hair began to fall out on day 14 after my first chemo treatment. I decided to be proactive and had my boyfriend give me a buzz cut. My hair was very long and I didn't want to see it fall out in clumps. It was easier on me that way. And I must say...the fear and dread of losing my hair was harder than actually losing it. I need to do a new profile pic because I have about 2 inches of hair now. :).  It began growing back near my last treatment. Unfortunately I had to begin chemo again after my mastectomy but it's with 2 different drugs and I haven't lost what little hair I have this time.  :). During my last four rounds of Taxol my side effects were fatigue, changes in my nails, losing my eyelashes, eyebrows, etc., & some bone pain. I have had some neuropathy in my feet & hands but it was mild.  Taxol was easier for me.  You will probably be getting a shot of Neulasta periodically to boost you white blood count. This might give you some bone pain mostly in the upper body. If you'll take a Claritin a few hours before your Neaulasta shot and for a few days after...it will help decrease the pain. Don't ask me how it works...but it does! I have spoken to so many other omen that have sworn by it. About the only side effect that can't be controlled is the fatigue. Be kind to your body. Get lots of rest. Let others help you. Chemo isn't easy...but it's doable. If you can get in the mindset that chemo is not something that's being done to you...but think of it as an ally in your fight against cancer it will be easier to deal with. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers! Keep the faith & God bless you in your journey to wellness. 

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I forgot to mention the # 1 side effect- hair loss. I lost all of my hair- head, legs, underarm first then eyebrows and eyelashes later on. It's been just about 6 months since I first started treatments, and 2 months since I ended and my hair is finally starting to grow back! I must check 10X a...

      more

      I forgot to mention the # 1 side effect- hair loss. I lost all of my hair- head, legs, underarm first then eyebrows and eyelashes later on. It's been just about 6 months since I first started treatments, and 2 months since I ended and my hair is finally starting to grow back! I must check 10X a day to see if it's getting any longer! I'm glad I have hair again - although just a little bit! I was so sad when my hair came out, but you get through it and carry on!

      Comment
  • Traciann brundage Profile

    Just finished my second treatment . I feel old and weak. (night sweats and can't sleep) Any tips?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Boy, it sucks, doesn't it? I'm so sorry you're having to go through this but keep your eye on the prize, even when you feel like you can't lift your head up. This stuff is KILLING those little suckers, each and every one of them! You are stronger than they are. With your will and the chemo...

      more

      Boy, it sucks, doesn't it? I'm so sorry you're having to go through this but keep your eye on the prize, even when you feel like you can't lift your head up. This stuff is KILLING those little suckers, each and every one of them! You are stronger than they are. With your will and the chemo working against them, THEY WILL NOT WIN.

      Now, for the sleep thing. I also take Trazadone. The dose has varied from 100 to 400 mg a night, depending on how difficult it is for me to sleep. (I'm on Aromasin (Eximestane) now, and it gives me terrible insomnia!) The good thing about Trazadone is that it's not addictive and doesn't give you the weird side effects you can get from other sleep meds like Ambien.

      Exercise will also help you. I imagine that's the last thing you can think about, but i figured that just getting up and walking around the house was exercise so I did it and I think it helped!

      Best of luck to you!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Oh Traciann.... you WILL start to feel better. Keep in mind, the chemo is kicking-butt to any cancer cells RIGHT NOW! It is doing what it is supposed to do. You bide your time, listen to your body, drink plenty of fluids and indulge yourself in some --caring-time-- for you. This is tough and...

      more

      Oh Traciann.... you WILL start to feel better. Keep in mind, the chemo is kicking-butt to any cancer cells RIGHT NOW! It is doing what it is supposed to do. You bide your time, listen to your body, drink plenty of fluids and indulge yourself in some --caring-time-- for you. This is tough and expected. You are right in the middle of it.... you take care of yourself, dear sister. Hang in there, we know how you are feeling and it does get better.
      Warm, fuzzy pony hugs. Sharon

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 2

Inspire hope by becoming an advocate for breast cancer prevention.

spread the word