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A 63-year-old member asked:

what is stage four cancer?

8 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shelby Terstriep
Internal Medicine 20 years experience
Spread: Cancer that has spread outside of where it started.
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology 33 years experience
Worst prognosis: Stage four signifies the group of patients that have the worst survival for a particular cancer. Depending on the cancer it may have zero survival rate or can have a percentage of patients that can be cured. Staging is used to determine what is the best treatment for the patient.
Dr. Devon Webster
Medical Oncology 22 years experience
Cancer spread: There are 4 stages of cancer. Stage 4 means the cancer has spread from the starting organ into another organ. Examples: breast cancer into bone, colon cancer into liver. Stage 4 cancers are usually not cured surgically and often require chemotherapy. The goal of treating stage 4 cancer is to prolong life and ease suffering. Rarely some stage 4 cancers are cured...Think lance armstrong!
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
Stages vary: ...With cancer type, but stage 4 usually is the highest stage, and refelcts travel to another organ most of the time. An exception is head neck cancer, wher stage IV generlly indicates locally advanced disease, not approachable by surgery (alone at least). Some consider that tumors progress from stage i in an organized fashion through each of the stages. Simplistic and not helpful.
Dr. Shalin Shah
Radiation Oncology 19 years experience
Cancer has spread: Generally speaking, stage IV cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Each cancer has its own staging system however, so this isn't true for all types of cancer.
Dr. R. Scott Anderson
Radiation Oncology 39 years experience
Stage IV: Stage four generally means that the tumor has spread to organs or sites other than the one it arose in. In some cases it can be related to the extent of local invasion, where it grows directly into neighboring structures. Hope this helps.
Dr. Carl Van Wey
Radiation Oncology 45 years experience
Stage four: It usually indicates that the cancer has spread to "distant" sites through the blood stream to organs such as lung, bone, liver, brain, etc., and is usually not curable, but frequently controllable for varying periods of time.
Dr. Mohamed Elmongy
Hematology and Oncology 46 years experience
Stage Four: When the disease have become metastasis to lung, liver, or bones, etc.

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Similar questions

A 48-year-old member asked:

What are symptoms of stage four cancer?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Depends: Each common cancer has a staging system depending on how far it has spread, and in turn, the symptoms depend on exactly where the tumor has spread and what it's doing. There's no telling. A stage IV lung cancer in the liver will behave much differently than a stage IV lung cancer in the chest wall.
A 44-year-old member asked:

How are stage 3 and 4 cancer distinguished from each other?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 35 years experience
Depends: As a rule, stage 4 are "advanced" but it varies depending on the cancer. Stage 4 breast cancer vs. Lung cancer vs. Head and neck cancer have somewhat different definitions based on the current staging criteria.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Can stage four cancer develop in three months?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jefferson Chen
Neurosurgery 34 years experience
Yes: Certainly, for the brain this can develop. If a person has a lower stage cancer, for example of the lung or breast, once it has gone to the brain, it by definition is stage 4. This can evolve very rapidly and certainly within 3 months.
A 46-year-old member asked:

When was cancer split up into the four stages?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 35 years experience
Good question, TY!: I think Duke's staging for colon cancer was devised in the mid 30's and the FIGO classification for gynecological cancers in the mid 50's. The TNM classification (used for most cancers) was initially devised in the mid 40's. Of course, they have all been revised many times since and still get revised regularly. I expect molecular and genetic factors to be incorporated into these systems.
A 45-year-old member asked:

What are the four stages of cancer?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Linson
Radiation Oncology 24 years experience
Cancer stages 0-5: In general there are 5 stages - each cancer has its own staging system Stage 0 - precancerous - has not spread to nearby tissues Stage I - In general is a small cancer and has not grown deeply into nearby tissues Stage II - In general is larger or has grown more deeply in nearby tissues, may involve lymph nodes Stage III - Like stage II but even more advanced Stage IV - Has spread to other organs

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