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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

  • Linda Leist Profile

    How long does treatment last?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It depends on the type and stage of the breast cancer. We are all different as far as treatment and length of time it takes. Mine took 4 months from start to finish but I was placed on 5 years of hormone treatment. Sharon

      Comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hmmm - I've been in treatment for a year now and still have a few months to go. Then maybe 5 years of hormones. Stage 3, grade 3b, her 2 've. Stay strong!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have stage one estrogen positive breast cancer. What is the prognosis?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Connie Herrick Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Your prognosis should be very good. What does your doctor say? Have you had any treatment yet? How old are you?

      I was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer last April. I was also estrogen positive, and the tumor was fast-growing. I had a lumpectomy, and the tumor size was 3 centimeters. I...

      more

      Your prognosis should be very good. What does your doctor say? Have you had any treatment yet? How old are you?

      I was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer last April. I was also estrogen positive, and the tumor was fast-growing. I had a lumpectomy, and the tumor size was 3 centimeters. I had 2 lymph nodes removed, and they were negative. So I had 4 chemo treatments, and 33 radiation treatments. Both were very tolerable. I am now on an estrogen-blocking pill that I will take for 5 years, since estrogen feeds breast cancer, this will help lessen my chances of it coming back. I plan to live to a ripe old age! I try to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise.

      Comment
    • Lori Murray Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi!
      I have/had estrogen positive also, from what I understand it is one of the very treatable forms. Mine is actually stage 4 since it went to a "tiny" area of my sternum which was radiated and now clear:)...my treatment is working very well and my scans have been clear since I started. I had...

      more

      Hi!
      I have/had estrogen positive also, from what I understand it is one of the very treatable forms. Mine is actually stage 4 since it went to a "tiny" area of my sternum which was radiated and now clear:)...my treatment is working very well and my scans have been clear since I started. I had my ovaries shut down with a lupron injection,eventually removed. I also take letrozole which stops any other estrogen that may be around. I am doing very well now, I think you have great hope...hang in there and try and take it step by step...it is a lot of information to process at once...Be well...xx

      Comment
  • Nancy Wing Profile

    I was diagnosed with stage 0 DCIS. I had a single left mastectomy on 11/8/11. I am so scared it is going to happen on the other side. I started on tomaxifin to help reduce my risk. Does anyone know what the chances are it can happen on the other side?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Donna Gray Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had stage 0 DCIS. I opted for a double mastectomy. I am 47 and did not want to spend the rest of my life worrying about getting it in my other breast. When the final pathology report came back after my mastectomy they found abnormal cells in the other breast. So for me I made the best decision....

      more

      I had stage 0 DCIS. I opted for a double mastectomy. I am 47 and did not want to spend the rest of my life worrying about getting it in my other breast. When the final pathology report came back after my mastectomy they found abnormal cells in the other breast. So for me I made the best decision. Best of luck to you.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I am like Donna had ductal carcinoma in situ 2003 had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies they did find abnormal cells in other breast. 2008 had a reoccurrence on incisional line on affected breast. Again caught early had further bilateral simple mastectomies with negative lymph nodes. There is...

      more

      I am like Donna had ductal carcinoma in situ 2003 had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies they did find abnormal cells in other breast. 2008 had a reoccurrence on incisional line on affected breast. Again caught early had further bilateral simple mastectomies with negative lymph nodes. There is no perfect treatment or "cure" for breast cancer even with mastectomies it us impossible to get all the breast tissue out unless they go back to the radical mastectomies of the old days. Main thing is to be your own advocate make sure you continue to have mammograms or breast ultrasounds. Early detection saves lifes. We all have in the back of our minds the "what if it comes back" thought. Even those that are 20 and 30 year survivors. Remember you are a survivor, and always try to stay positive. Don't let the negative thoughts interfere in a productive happy life. I always say no matter what there is something to be thankful for every day take care

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My throat is soar...they said it might get like that due to radiating my lymph nodes..."If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Norma, do they have your head positioned in such a way that your throat is out of the way as much as possible? I also had my super clav area radiated and when they positioned me initially they made sure my head was turned to the left (rads on right side) and that's the way they shaped my...

      more

      Norma, do they have your head positioned in such a way that your throat is out of the way as much as possible? I also had my super clav area radiated and when they positioned me initially they made sure my head was turned to the left (rads on right side) and that's the way they shaped my pillow. They try and get your throat positioned so it's not affected. I did have a slight sore throat at one point, but it didn't last. However, if it persists for you then you need to tell someone and make sure your positioning is correct. Good luck!

      1 comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      That happened to me........the doctor and the techs had me(they were radiating my right breast) turn my head to the left. It lifted my throat out of the way. I turned my head almost 90 degrees to the left. It worked untill itworked ensure and popsicles.

      1 comment

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