While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, there are treatments that slow the cancer, extending the patients life while also improving the quality of life, Henry says. Many patients now live 10 years or more after a metastatic diagnosis.
Can Stage 4 breast cancer survive 20 years?
Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent; median survival is three years.
A patient with widespread metastasis or with metastasis to the lymph nodes has a life expectancy of less than six weeks. A patient with metastasis to the brain has a more variable life expectancy (one to 16 months) depending on the number and location of lesions and the specifics of treatment.
How long can you live when cancer spreads to bones?
The authors note that most people live for 12–33 months after a diagnosis of metastatic cancer in the bones.
Metastatic breast cancer may never go away completely. But treatment can control its spread. Cancer may even go into remission at some points. This means you have fewer signs and symptoms of cancer.
Is it bad when cancer spreads to your bones?
Cancer cells that have spread to the bone can damage the bone and cause symptoms. Different treatments can be used to control the symptoms and the spread of bone metastases. To better understand what happens in metastasis, it helps to understand more about the bones.
What happens when cancer spreads to the whole body?
When cancer spreads, its called metastasis. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors in other parts of the body. Cancer can spread to almost anywhere in the body. But it commonly moves into your bones, liver, or lungs.
In some situations, metastatic cancer can be cured, but most commonly, treatment does not cure the cancer. But doctors can treat it to slow its growth and reduce symptoms. It is possible to live for many months or years with certain types of cancer, even after the development of metastatic disease.
Metastatic cancer is commonly called stage IV cancer or advanced cancer. It occurs when cancer cells break off from the original tumor, spread through the bloodstream or lymph vessels to another part of the body, and form new tumors. Nearby lymph nodes are the most common place for cancer to metastasize.
While metastatic breast cancer is terminal and cannot be cured, because of improved treatments more women are living longer than ever with it.