When someone is diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, known as metastatic or stage IV cancer, it gives rise to many worries and questions. Several therapies are available, and they are meant to provide a quality life for a prolonged period of time. It is true that there is still no cure for this disease but with the help of modern medicines and therapies, patients are living longer than before. The good news is that there are more treatment options available now than was the case a few years back.
It would help to know about these options. You can then be prepared to talk to your doctor about the way forward. It is important to remember that cases vary, and so do the treatment and results. The best idea is to consult your doctor to get advice regarding the treatment of advanced breast cancer stage.
Advanced breast cancer patients undergo surgery on their affected breast or breasts. In rare cases, the doctor may suggest surgery to take out a tumor that has spread to some other organ. This is only recommended when the cancerous cells have not spread much. Surgery is helpful at times especially if there is pain that refuses to go away or a bone that needs stabilization or if there is any other problem.
It is important to note that if a breast has undergone radiation therapy before, it cannot be repeated. However, if there are tumors in other parts of the body, radiation can be administered to shrink them. Radiation arrests cancer from growing as well as keep symptoms under check. It also controls pain or bleeding from cancer spreading across the liver or bones. The doctor may also use “stereotactic” treatment to target spots in the lungs or liver.
Chemotherapy is one of the primary advanced breast cancer treatments. The aim is to control the disease as long as possible. Doctors choose the most suitable chemotherapy procedure among many to treat their patients.
Advanced breast cancer treatment centers
Some popular advanced breast cancer treatment centers available in the country include Mayo Clinic, James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, and University of Washington Medical Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.