Stage IV breast cancer describes invasive breast cancer, which has spread to other organs of the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. There are not any existing cures for stage IV cancer, although treatment can help to reduce further spread of the disease.
Invasive breast cancer in which:
For stage IV treatment a patient may receive surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these therapies.
Radiation therapy may be used to control tumors in certain parts of the body. However treatments in stage IV are not likely to cure the disease, the purpose is to help woman live longer and to relieve specific signs or uncomfortable symptoms
Many women need supportive care along with anti-cancer treatments. Anti-cancer treatments are given to slow the progress of the disease, and whenever possible to control the cancer, treating it as a chronic illness.
CHARACTERISTICS (Stage IV)
- The tumour can be any size
- The lymph nodes may or may not contain cancer cells
- The cancer has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain
Click on the links below to learn more about each breast cancer stage.