Stage 4 in breast cancer demonstrates an unrelenting medical condition in which the disease is found to have extended to other parts of the affected body. This typically includes liver, lungs, brain and bone. The Stage 4 breast cancer survival rate is considered much lower than its earlier stages of detection.
Medical reports suggest that stage 4 breast cancer survival rate is low. Surviving from such an advanced cancer stage is very difficult. In most cases, stage 4 breast cancer couldn’t be treated. For women having stage 4 breast cancer, the major goal is to recover from the symptoms and survive longer.
Stage 4 breast cancer- What is it?
The stage 4 breast cancer otherwise known as metastatic breast cancer (MBC) happens to be the most advanced stage of the disease. In this stage, cancer metastasizes to different tissues including liver, lungs and bone tissues.
In medical terminology, Stage 4 breast cancer is taken as the most advanced stage when radiation and surgery doesn’t help. It is the stage when only systematic therapy can be of some help. This also combines 3 or more medical therapies to offer support to the natural defenses of the body.
In stage 4, the cancer cells expand further. It extends past the axillary lymph nodes and the breast to the other parts of the body where it keeps on multiplying and developing. The disease has the possibility to expand to almost every area of the body. Usually, the liver, lungs and the bones are the worst affected ones.
Specialists in treating Metastatic breast cancer or the stage 4 breast cancer usually concentrates on lessening the symptoms by extending the life span of the woman. In about 10% of diagnoses, it is found that the cancer had already spread to the other areas.
A principal diagnosis reveals the rapid growth of the disease. Moreover, it also becomes clear that cancer present in a female body could not been identified in the first count. By the time it is diagnosed, the survival rate is found to have dropped.
According to the American Cancer Society, by the time the cancer disease gets first diagnosed, the 5-year survival rate of a person drops to about 16 to 20% in United States itself. More than 5% of the white women population and about 9% of the black women population has been reported to have the advanced symptoms of breast cancer. By the time of the first diagnosis, the disease is found to have spread all over the body.
Generally women diagnosed to have the advanced symptoms of breast cancer can live up to 18 months after the diagnosis. This shows that Stage 4 breast cancer survival rate is quite medium. Those women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and found to be alive for 5 years after the diagnosis has chances to live for another 3.5 years or so. This is what cancer specialists of the American Cancer Society have to say.
Medical statistics also show that the 5-year survival rate for any Stage 4 patient is found to be around 20%. This percentage also varies depending on treatments and on various situations. Keep in mind that it’s an average number altogether and the actual chances of survival can also differ.
Stage IV breast cancer survival rate is far lower than earlier stages. This is because stage 4 is the most advanced stage of breast cancer in which the cancer cells have already spread to other vital organs of the body. Unlike other cancer cells, the breast cancer cell produces far more prostaglandins. Targeted organs are the human liver, brain, lungs, and bones. Stage 4 cancer is also known as metastatic. When not discovered in time, the breast cancer advances from stage 1 to stage IV.
Cure rate is quite different from survival rate. Survival rate is simply the number of women who have been living with stage IV breast cancer over a certain period; counting from when they were first diagnosed. Over the past decades, the survival rate has improved tremendously in all stages.
Currently, 5-years survival rate is a little above 85% and 77% for 10-years survival rate. These rates are dependent on the extent of how much the cancer cells have spread to other vital body parts. The more the number of affected body organs the lower the survival rate. This explains why women with advanced breast cancer, stage four, have a 5-year survival rate of 22%.
As we all know, the stages of the breast cancer is proportional to the size of the tumour. Staging cancer gives doctors and nurses a better understanding of the severity of a breast cancer condition. It also enables the medical experts to compare results and administer treatments for a particular stage. There are many novel treatment methods these days.
Presently, there are several treatments for stage 4 breast cancer. One of which is Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, were chemotherapy is administered before surgery. Medical advances have been able to make higher chemotherapy drugs bearable.
Use in describing a situation where the breast cancer cells have spread via the blood stream to other parts of the human body is the term, distant metastasis. As mention earlier, stage 4 breast cancer affects vital organs of the body including the regional lymph nodes. In fact, almost all tissues of the body are vulnerable to the spread of the cancer cells.
Usually, at stage 4, breast cancer cells are not curable. However, a tiny percentage of people with these conditions have luckily being able to go through treatment successfully. According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, aspirin can greatly improve breast cancer survival. There is no evidence that suggest that this is helpful to people with stage four.
Younger women are less susceptible to breast cancer than older women are. However, younger women tend to have more aggressive forms of breast cancer than the older women do. This explains why the survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is lower among younger women.
Survival rate reduces as the breast cancer develops and spreads to other parts of the body. Nonetheless, the survival rates for women with breast cancer have been improving over the past decade. The fact remains, the earlier the breast cancer stage, the higher the survival rate.