Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is an advanced form of breast cancer that has invaded other areas of the body, usually the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. It is also known as stage IV or advanced breast cancer. Unlike other types of breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer is considered incurable, but that doesn't mean that it can't be treated. Treatment is typically tailored to the individual with the aim of prolonging life and improving quality of life.

Diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is typically diagnosed through imaging scans such as a CT, MRI, or bone scan. A blood test may also be done to look for tumor markers, as well as a biopsy of any affected organs to look for cancer cells. Once the diagnosis is made, it is important to find out if the cancer is hormone-receptor positive or HER2-positive, which affects the treatment options.

Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer

Treatment for metastatic breast cancer usually involves a combination of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biologic therapy, and radiation. Depending on the patient's individual circumstances, surgeons and other specialists may be involved in the treatment. The goal of treatment is to slow the growth of cancer and prolong life, as well as minimize pain and suffering.

Managing the Emotional Impact of Metastatic Breast Cancer

The diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer can be devastating, but there are many resources available to help patients cope with the emotional impact of the disease. Patients can benefit from counseling, support groups, and yoga or meditation classes. In addition, both online and face-to-face support groups provide a sense of community and a forum for sharing experiences and finding emotional comfort.

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Managing metastatic breast cancer is challenging, but there are ways to make living with the disease more manageable. It is important to adhere to recommended treatments, focus on overall health and wellbeing, and strive for a sense of balance in life. It is also helpful to identify sources of support, both emotional and practical.


Metastatic breast cancer is an advanced form of the disease that has spread to other areas of the body. Treatment can prolong life and improve quality of life, and there are a number of resources and support groups available to those living with the disease. Practicing self-care and finding support from family and friends can help make living with metastatic breast cancer more manageable.