Stage IV breast cancer is also referred to as advance breast cancer. In stage IV, the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue and invaded other areas of the body. These areas may include the lymph nodes, bones, lungs, liver and even the brain. Once cancer has reached stage IV, it has the potential to spread to most anywhere in the body.
Symptoms of late stage breast cancer can include weight loss, bone pain, headache, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, breast pain and neurological pain.
Prognosis of stage IV breast cancer varies between individuals. However, the prognosis is usually grim. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate is 20 percent.
The five-year survival rate reflects individuals who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and survived at least five years after diagnosis.
Chemotherapy may be used in order to keep the cancer from spreading. Several treatments such as radiation, surgery and hormone therapy may be used simultaneously in order to treat end stage breast cancer.
Clinical trials for woman in stage IV breast cancer continue to grow. It is through clinical trials that cures are found.