Stage 4 is the final stage of breast cancer.
Stage 4 breast cancer is marked by the cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
The lymph nodes may or may not be affected.
It is the presence of breast cancer cells in other organs which determines this stage.
Stage 4 (IV): Breast Cancer is Stage 4 if the tumor is of any size & the cancer cells have spread or metastasized to other areas of the body such as the brain, bones, liver or lungs.
As stage 4 breast cancer has spread to other organs of the body, focused treatments such as radiation therapy and surgery on their own are usually not sufficient to treat breast cancer.
Stage 4 breast cancer is a very serious condition. A combination of treatments focus on slowing down the disease by shrinking the cancer, reducing pain and prolonging life.
Stage 4 treatment options include:
As stage 4 breast cancer is usually marked by the disease spreading to multiple areas of the body the overall chance of survival is not good.
However if treatments are effective, people with stage 4 breast cancer may live for many years after diagnosis.