Classifying your breast cancer by stage helps predict your chance of cure and helps identify the best treatment options for your particular cancer. After discovering that you have breast cancer, your doctor will decide what additional tests may be helpful to find out if the disease has spread outside the breast. Called breast cancer staging, this process provides information about the extent of the disease. Your breast cancer stage helps your doctor determine which treatments are most likely to benefit you. The stages of breast cancer are indicated using Roman numerals ranging from 0 to IV, with 0 indicating cancer that is noninvasive or contained within the milk ducts. Greater numerals indicate a more invasive cancer.
What is Stage 4 Breast Cancer? Here's What You Need to Know About Survival Rates of the Disease
Stage 4 Metastatic Cancer
The term metastatic breast cancer MBC, also called stage 4 breast cancer describes breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast — to the bones, liver, brain, or another organ. While metastatic breast cancer is terminal and cannot be cured, because of improved treatments more women are living longer than ever with it. Even so, a lack of information and many misconceptions about this diagnosis persist. Here are several things you should know about metastatic breast cancer and the women who are living with it. 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. 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.
These 3 Celebrities Are Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Many people wonder about the life expectancy for stage 4 breast cancer metastatic 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.
Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage IV breast cancer, is the most advanced form of breast cancer 3. If breast cancer is not diagnosed and treated early, it can spread to nearby organs or enter the bloodstream and spread to distant organs in a process known as metastasis. Once breast cancer has turned metastatic, the disease is usually incurable. Only 1 to 3 percent of patients with metastatic breast cancer recover from the disease, notes the California Breast Cancer Research Program. The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer generally continue to worsen until death 2.