Metastatic breast cancer is a breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to the other parts of the body (mostly the lungs, liver, bones and brain). Metastatic breast cancer is not a type of breast cancer, but the most advanced stage of cancer. It’s also known as stage IV breast cancer.
It has been estimated that about 154,000 women are currently living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States. About 6% of women have Metastatic breast cancer at first diagnoses. Most cases of metastatic breast cancer occurs when breast cancer returns at some point after treatment for early stage breast cancer.
There are cure for metastatic breast cancer, yet. But it can be treated. Treatment focuses on length and quality of life. Treatment is highly personalised. Together with your doctor, you can find the balance of quality of life and treatment that is best right for you.
Treatment plan is guided by many factors, including:
- Where the cancer has spread
- Your age and general health
- Your current symptoms
- Past breast cancer treatment
- Characteristics of the cancer cells (such as hormone receptors status and Human epidermal growth factors receptors 2 status).
Talk to your doctors about treatment choices.
Type of treatment
- Hormone therapy is usually the first treatment for oestrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, even if you have taken hormone therapy in the past.
- Chemotherapy is usually the first treatment when hormone therapy is an option. If the first chemotherapy drug stop working and cancer grows, a second or third may be used.
- Target therapies are drugs used to treat Human epidermal growth factors receptors-2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
For more information please talk to your physician or general practitioner (GP).