Stage IV metastatic breast cancer and pleural effusion. What is treatment?

It depends. Breast cancers come in many "flavors", and this will determine the treatment. Usually it's a form of chemotherapy given by mouth or by vein. Xeloda is given by mouth, and there are many intravenous chemotherapies. Sometimes hormone blocking medications are very effective if the cancer has the estrogen or Progesterone receptor on its surface. Herceptin (trastuzumab) is useful if it has her2 on its surface.
Drain fluid. Pleural effusion is fluid that collects in the cavity that holds the lungs. When fluid builds up, it can prevent the lung from expanding fully so you can breathe. Worst case scenario is the lung can collapse. A special tube can be placed in the chest to drain this fluid. You should be working closely with your oncologist and a thoracic surgeon.
Team approach. Breast cancer is best treated with multi-discipline approach. The effusion should be drained and analyzed. If the effusion contains malignant cells or is suspicious for malignancy, there are different techniques that may be employed to prevent recurrence and potentially guide further therapy. It is important to discuss this condition with a thoracic surgeon.

Related Questions

Do people with stage IV metastatic breast cancer often undergo chemo?

Yes. Under certain circumstances hormone therapy might be the initial treatment, but most stage 4 patients eventually undergo chemotherapy treatment. This will depend on age, tolerence for treatment, hormone responsiveness and other tumor characteristics. Read more...
Yes, but not always. There are many people living with metastatic breast cancer who aren't on chemotherapy. They might take a hormone-blocking pill or injection, or they might receive an IV biologic agent like Herceptin (trastuzumab) (which isn't chemotherapy.) most patients go on and off chemotherapy at different times depending on many factors. Read more...

What is the best alternative treatment for someone with metastatic breast cancer?

Standard regimen. I am not sure what you mean by "alternative" but many of our current treatments-chemotherapy and hormonal therapy are good for treating breast cancer. There are complimentary treatments (acupuncture, reiki, to name a few) that can be used along with standard therapy but should never be used solely "to cure cancer" these have not gone through the rigorous fda standards. Read more...
We don't know. I encourage you to ask your doctor and alternative providers to work together. There are no guaranteed "cures" with either alternative or western medicine. However, therapies can complement each other, or they can counteract each other. You don't want that! some diets may inhibit cancer growth, and side effects may be relieved with alternative medicine. Be open and honest with all your docs! Read more...
Get the facts. If the cancer is subject to hormonal manipulation or to the new biologicals, go with these. If mainstream treatment options have clearly run out, resist the temptation to reward a sweet-taking "natural healing" or dark "conspiracy" talker with money for Rx's that won't work. ("They failed because you ate GMO food.") Get with hospice -- palliative care is good nowadays. Best wishes. Read more...

What is the best treatment for metastatic breast cancer? How about alternative treatments?

It depends. There is not a "best" treatment, as metastatic breast cancers are different. The best treatment will take into account past treatment, current symptoms, and the subtype of breast cancer (er, pr and her2 status) as well as the location of tumors. Usually chemo or biologic therapy is necessary. Alternative treatments like mushrooms may have anti-cancer effects, but more studies are needed. Read more...
Few alternatives. For metastatic breast cancer , there is no single best treatment. Treatment depends on the type of disease, age. Spread of disease , general health etc. Alternative treatments are not primary treatment methods, they are supplements to accepted way of treatment. Read more...

What are the treatment options for metastatic breast cancer?

Varies. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer is aimed at delaying the progression of the disease, prolonging life, relieving any symptoms caused by the cancer, and improving daily quality of life. Chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and monoclonal antibody therapies can all be used to achieve this depending on the type of breast cancer. For detailed information please visit www.Cancer.Org. Read more...
It Depends. It depends on the "personality" of the cancer, ie whether it has the estrogen receptor, Progesterone receptor, or her2. It also depends on where the cancer is. Er+ cancer that has spread only to bone can often be treated with anti-estrogen pills alone, while cancer in the liver, lungs or brain often requires chemotherapy. Women can live for years with metastatic breast cancer. Read more...

What to do if I have triple negative metastatic breast cancer stage iv?

Don't give up. For starters, find a good oncologist, preferably one who works within a multidisciplinary team and has access to clinical trials. There are too many variables to give you specifics but very likely you will be offered chemo. Depending on the circumstances, surgery or radiation may come to play. You had 3x- cancer before age 60 and fulfill criteria for BRCA testing. If positive (or even if not)... Read more...

What are signs that someones body is shutting down due to stage 4 metastatic breast cancer?

It varies. Advanced cancers lead to increasing impairment of mobility due to weakness, loss of weight or organ failure. Your doctor can help you more by checking the patient.And the reports of their burden of cancer. Anyone who is eating well and fully mobile, is not close to 'shuting down'. Read more...

I am stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. 1 yr ago it spread to ovaries and I had hysterectomy. Do I stil need to have yearly papsmears.

Yes. It is recommended to continue with pap smears after a hysterectomy for cancerous reasons. The pap smear will collect cells from your vaginal walls. This is to make sure that potential cancerous cells are not still present after surgery and to rule out the potential development of new ones. Continue paps every 1-2years. Read more...
Technically no. I am terribly sorry about your situation. Given that your original diagnosis of breast cancer had nothing to do with hpv or related changes to the cervix, and assuming that you always had normal prior pap smears, then you do not need to have annual pap smears. Obviously, you need pelvic exams at whatever interval your doctor recommended, though. Read more...

If I live beyond 5 years with bone only metastatic breast cancer, how long can the hormone therapy be taken?

Forever. Breast cancer with bone metastasis hormonal therapy will not be discontinued even may need additional treatments to keep the tumor under control , speak to your oncologist. Read more...
INdefinitely. If you have a hormone receptor positive tumor that is responding to hormone therapy, there is no set limit on the duration unless there are side effects or the tumor develops resistance. Read more...