Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment and Planning

Like all cancers, breast cancer treatment options depend on the stage of disease at diagnosis. Unfortunately, for some women, this comes too late for a cure.

Later stage breast cancer, known as metastatic breast cancer, is treatable but not curable. Women need to understand their treatment options for cancer that has spread, so they can make an informed care decision.

A Definition Of Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Stage 4, also called metastatic, is breast cancer that where the cancer cells have broken away from the original tumor and traveled to other parts of the body. Cancer cells travel through the lymphatic system and bloodstream.

The cancer cells can travel to various other areas of the body.

  • Bone
  • Lungs
  • Brain
  • Liver

The treatment options for this type of breast cancer depend on where it has spread.

Breast Cancer Treatment Team

A cancer diagnosis is often devastating and scary. It's important to take time to talk with doctors and gather all the information necessary about treatment options. Give yourself time to understand your options and make an informed decision.

Several medical professionals make up a care team to help you make important decisions about treatment plans.

  • Options for genetic testing
  • When to take a break from treatment
  • Weighing pros and cons of available options

Your treatment team is there to assist you in any way possible. They can also help with questions about clinical trials.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment Options

The good news for patients is that a variety of options are available, and discussing these with a breast cancer treatment services team can help determine the best course of action for specific patient needs.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Targeted therapy
  • Genetic testing
  • Local treatments

Even with the best care, some women find treatments both physically and mentally exhausting. The care team is an important asset at this point to help make important treatment decisions.

Some patients decide to take a break from treatment or stop altogether. If patients choose this option, planning for services like hospice and getting emotional support is critical.

The health care team can put patients in contact with people trained to help those living with end-stage breast cancer.

  • Emotional support
  • Financial planning
  • Organizing finances
  • Choosing hospice care

No matter what course of action a patient decides to take, a good health care team is essential in providing answers and support when needed.

A cancer diagnosis is often scary, but with good information and discussions on treatment options patients can make the right decision for them. Talk with a local breast cancer treatment services team to learn more.