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Doctor insights on: How Long Can You Live With Stage 4 Breast Cancer

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How long can a person live with stage 4 breast cancer that metastasized to the bone?

How long can a person live with stage 4 breast cancer that metastasized to the bone?

Depends: By definition breast cancer that has metastasized to the bone is stage iv. Depending on the patient's overall health and response to therapy can live many years. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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How long can a person with stage 4 breast cancer survive?

How long can a person with stage 4 breast cancer survive?

Need more info.: This is hard to answer without knowing the specific biology of the cancer and which organs are involved. Nowadays, we consider stage IV breast ca like a chronic illness; one we cannot cure, but we can often manage and control very well. ...Read more

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How long can exemestane work for stage 4 breast cancer? I've been on it 6 months and I have no more active cancer. I'm terrified it will come back.

How long can exemestane work for stage 4 breast cancer? I've been on it 6 months and I have no more active cancer. I'm terrified it will come back.

Hard to answer: That varies. I have had patients on their first hormone treatment for over 5-10 years. Ultimately if it is stage 4, the cancer will recur. Regular follow ups and exams are very important. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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How long can I survive with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to my liver without chemotherapy?

How long can I survive with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to my liver without chemotherapy?

Hard to say: Hello - there are many treatment options for stage 4 breast cancer. If your cancer is ER or PR positive, hormonal tx can be used. If it is Her2 positive, Herceptin (trastuzumab) and other targeted, non-chemos can be used. If the breast cancer is triple negative then chemo is your best option. There are "mild" chemos, some oral, that can be tried. Average lifespan is usually quite long with treatment. Best ...Read more

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Mother diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in breast, multiple lymph nodes, liver and bones. How long does she have?

Mother diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in breast, multiple lymph nodes, liver and bones. How long does she have?

Depends: First, it is now clear we physicians can't predict the survival of any single individual very precisely. We can say that of a thousand patients with a given condition, half will still be alive at x date. For a breast cancer patient, even one with stage IV disease, the prognosis depends on many things: is the tumor hormone sensitive or not? Is there a her2-neu gene amplification? So it depends. ...Read more

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What do you suggest if my sister is 53 years old and was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer five years ago. For years the cancer w?

What do you suggest if my sister is 53 years old and was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer five years ago. For years the cancer w?

Excellent control: Stage 4 breast can be controlled with systemic therapy very well, even for more than 5 years. This is most commonly seen in patients who have stage 4 disease because of spread to the bone only, as opposed to the liver, brain, lungs, etc. Regardless, women are living longer with stage 4 breast cancer because of better systemic treatment. While cancer well controlled with chemo, patients will live. ...Read more

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Is there a complete cure for stage 4 breast cancer?

Is there a complete cure for stage 4 breast cancer?

Stage IV means: Spread to distant organs, usually liver, bone, lung, or brain, with breast cancer. In addition to treating the primary cancer, these distant metastases need treatment, usually with surgery if feasible, chemo, or radiation therapy. Some breast cancers respond very well to treatment, but unfortunately others do not, and complete cure may not be possible. ...Read more

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Is it possible that stage 4 breast cancer go undetected on a mammogram?

Is it possible that stage 4 breast cancer go undetected on a mammogram?

Yes: Mammography is about 80% sensitive for detecting cancer, so it won't find 20% of them. No test is 100% accurate. So, unfortunately the answer to your question is yes. ...Read more

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What should I expect regarding stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to the liver?

What should I expect regarding stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to the liver?

Still treatable: There are many chemo options available. If it is stage 4 by virtue of minimal liver involvement-there is good medical data to talk with a liver surgeon to discuss removal of that portion of the liver. If there are other spots of tumor spread in the body, then chemotherapy and hormone suppression therapy are the mainstays of treatment. Focal radiation can help bone pain. ...Read more

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Can I be my mom's caregiver if she has stage 4 breast cancer?

Can I be my mom's caregiver if she has stage 4 breast cancer?

Yes, absolutely: A caregiver is anyone who assists a patient through their medical diagnosis. I recommend you meet with your mother's breast cancer team of doctors and nurses to see what support is needed. One problem is that caregivers give so much to the patient that they forget their own needs. Many facilities have resources to help, please don't be afraid to reach out for assistance. Good luck! ...Read more

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Please explain why is stage 4 breast cancer considered metastic cancer if it has begun in the breast?

It's the definition: ..Of stage 4. You are correct in that the cancer will keep the name of the place it started at, so if a breast cancer metastasizes let's say to the bones or the lungs, it is called stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer. ...Read more

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I have stage 4 breast cancer. My ANC count today was. 5 can rest help bring it up? I also started nupogen injections today.

I have stage 4 breast cancer. My ANC count today was. 5 can rest help bring it up? I also started nupogen injections today.

See below: I do not believe rest will help your blood counts come back but Neupogen should. Give it some time. Follow the recommendations of your oncologist to prevent infections and call him/her right away if you develop a fever or any sign of infection. Best to you. ...Read more

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How does dcis turn into stage 4 breast cancer?

How does dcis turn into stage 4 breast cancer?

Long process: While not all dcis will become invasive cancer, many cases will and to date we can not differentiate between those that will and those that won't. Those cases that become invasive, can then spread to lymph nodes or other organs. The latter, breast cancer that spreads to other organs, is stage IV breast cancer. ...Read more

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Is stage 4 breast cancer patient still have the chance to survive?

Is stage 4 breast cancer patient still have the chance to survive?

Yes: There are many treatment options available for stage 4 breast cancer. Based on what type of breast cancer if ER/PR positive, HER2 positive or not. You should speak to medical oncologist to discuss all the treatment options. ...Read more

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I'm 31 yrs old, been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, can I still engage in intercourse?

I'm 31 yrs old, been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, can I still engage in intercourse?

Yes: I do not see a reason why you cannot. I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Stay strong and keep your thoughts positive. ...Read more

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What are the final symptoms or stages for someone with stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to brain?

What are the final symptoms or stages for someone with stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to brain?

Stage 4: Well, unfortunately stage 4 is the highest stage and indicates disease (in this case breast cancer) that has spread distantly. However, depending on certain aspects of the specific tumor involved, some patients can have excellent, long lasting responses to chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. The oncologist should be able to provide you with more specifics for the case you describe. ...Read more

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Does radiation help with stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to the brain?

Does radiation help with stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to the brain?

Yes: Radiation is very important to control symptoms like headaches or seizures. In rare cases, surgery or gamma knife are used but only if there are only a few mets and the rest of the disease is under control. ...Read more

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38 yo, BRCA I & II negative, sister died from stage 4 breast cancer. Intermittent occassional, burning pain top right breast.

38 yo, BRCA I & II negative, sister died from stage 4 breast cancer. Intermittent occassional, burning pain top right breast.

See below.: Although not typical for breast cancer, and even though you are under 40, as you have a first degree relative with breast cancer, you should obtain a mammogram, and possible ultrasound. ...Read more

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Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, been eating healthy, can I still drink wine or wine coolers?

Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, been eating healthy, can I still drink wine or wine coolers?

In moderation: Taking one drink a day is relatively harmless. Excess (2 or more drinks) are harmful. So avoid alcohol if possible; take only one glass of wine if you have the urge or need to have it to relax you (which some people find relaxing) ...Read more

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What is the typical life expectancy for a young stage 4 breast cancer patient in great condition on afinitor (everolimus) and aromasin?

Breast cancer: You report that you are in great condition on your medication.
I know it will be difficult but try as hard as you can to continue to feel great on your meds and continue to see your doctor regularly.

There is no timetable for you - just continue to enjoy life - it may well be another 30 or more years. ...Read more

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What is the typical life expectancy for a young stage 4 breast cancer patient in great condition on afinitor (everolimus) and aromasin?

What is the typical life expectancy for a young stage 4 breast cancer patient in great condition on afinitor (everolimus) and aromasin?

3 yrs: In one of the trials, the median survival was 31 months. This means that half of the people who took this combination lived more than this. So it is easy to live 3-4 yrs in the above mentioned condition. ...Read more

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I'm stage 4 Breast cancer. Been having pain in ribs/ shoulder for 2 mths. Also cancer antigen 27. 29 blood test is back above normal. Is cancer back?

I'm stage 4 Breast cancer. Been having pain in ribs/ shoulder for 2 mths. Also cancer antigen 27. 29 blood test is back above normal. Is cancer back?

See your oncologist.: Stage IV describes invasive breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body, such as the lungs, distant lymph nodes, skin, bones, liver, or brain. Talk to your oncologist to determine the extent/ or remission of the cancer. Stage 4 usually means that cancer was not just in the breast area. ...Read more

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Have stage 4 breast cancer, retaining lot of water from chemo drugs, along with water pill, what's the quickest way to get rid of all the extra water?

Have stage 4 breast cancer, retaining lot of water from chemo drugs, along with water pill, what's the quickest way to get rid of all the extra water?

Ask your oncologist: Fluid retention is typically not caused by chemotherapy (with rare exceptions). Are you taking a steroid pre-medication? This is often the case when taking Taxanes like Docetaxel or Paclitaxel. In that case fluid retention should go away as soon as you stop steroid use. If chemo like Docetaxel is causing you increasing amount of swelling, ask you oncologist for further evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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How dangerous can stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to lungs and adrenal gland be if it goes untreated without chemo?

How dangerous can stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to lungs and adrenal gland be if it goes untreated without chemo?

Hard to Predict: Among all patients with breast cancer who present with distant disease, one fourth will survive beyond 5 years. It would be good to know the patient's age and receptor status (er, pr, her2) to answer this question, because we are finding much better results now with certain treatments (like Herceptin (trastuzumab) for her2+ pts) than in the past. Ask your oncologist for info. ...Read more

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Stage 4 breast cancer chemo have not worked (4) ran out of medicaid now pus coming out of nipple is it getting worse? Please answer

Stage 4 breast cancer chemo have not worked (4) ran out of medicaid now pus coming out of nipple is it getting worse? Please answer

Possible: It could be disease progression or an infection. You may want to find a nearby county hospital and get seen there as soon as possible to resume your treatment. ...Read more

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Can I work as a firefighter while taking Xanax my wife has stage 4 breast cancer and the stress was giving me anxiety. I was prescribe. 05 mg Xanax 2x per day I feel it has helped me. However I don't know how my employer will feel about it

Can I work as a firefighter while taking Xanax my wife has stage 4 breast cancer and the stress was giving me anxiety. I was prescribe. 05 mg Xanax 2x per day I feel it has helped me. However I don't know how my employer will feel about it

Hello.: Hello. I do not know that answer to that question. Here is the problem, a medication like xanax (alprazolam) is mood altering. It can make you sedated or slow your reaction times. This could make you less responsive and less effective as a fire fighter. You are in a high risk profession, so you need to be fully aware and awake. If you were a diver or a pilot in the military, being on this type of mediation (benzodiazapine) would render you unsuitable for the job. My guess would be that there are guidelines for health restrictions in your area. The most responsible thing to do is to talk to your employer about it. I am very sorry about your wife's illness. Take care. ...Read more

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I hjave stage 4 breast cancer. Metasatic cancer. I have a small swell on my neck also when I lift my arm I I also have a sore type pain.?

I hjave stage 4 breast cancer. Metasatic cancer. I have a small swell on my neck also when I lift my arm I I also have a sore type pain.?

See your oncologist: Please communicate this symptom and others to your oncologist and members of your breast cancer team. You should be evaluated and examined. Best of luck to you, stay strong and keep up the fight! ...Read more

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Stage 4 breast cancer, taking gemzar & zometa, gained 8 pounds. Really healthy appetite cuz of vitamin is there a such thing as too much weight gain?

Stage 4 breast cancer, taking gemzar & zometa, gained 8 pounds. Really healthy appetite cuz of vitamin is there a such thing as too much weight gain?

Yes: You need to keep a chart which can show how much is your BMI is it will tell you where you should be on your weight scale ...Read more

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When your oncologist recommends palliative care for stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to brain, what has happened physically to the body?

When your oncologist recommends palliative care for stage 4 breast cancer that has mets to brain, what has happened physically to the body?

Peace and comfort: To the lost second, body deteriorates due to disease. Family, and unfortunate victim to the disease must come to terms allow the disease to take its course, providing pain free comfortable end is the palliative care, several dedicated hospice centers are available for such care. ...Read more

Dr. Le Wang Dr. Wang
4 doctors agreed:
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Stage 4 breast cancer. Taking gemzar and zometa. Getting mouth sore, what can I do to ease these?

Dr. Le Wang Dr. Wang
4 doctors agreed:
Stage 4 breast cancer. Taking gemzar and zometa. Getting mouth sore, what can I do to ease these?

Mucositis?: Get your doctor to look at your mouth for assessment. This could be mucositis, ulcers or thrush, or others. You need to really know the cause for the mouth sore in order to treat it. For mild mucositis, you may use baking soda to rinse your mouth. For severe mucositis or ulcers, magic mouthwash may be helpful. Antibiotics could be used for thrush. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
1,380 Doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more


Dr. Mark Hoepfner
1,063 Doctors shared insights

Breast Carcinoma (Definition)

Most breast cancers are carcinomas. This is a type of breast cancer. These cancers start in the cells that line organs and tissues. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands (glandular tissue). Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts (the milk ducts) or ...Read more