Breast Cancer in Stage Four Too Late for Treatment?
As we as women all know and have been told as we grow older is that early detection of breast cancer is the best way to beat it. There are women who are diagnosed with Stage Four breast cancer. What are the chances for survival? What are the treatments for this stage of cancer? Is it curable? With research continuing, incidence of stage four discovery will hopefully be a thing of the past.
Stage Four Doesn’t Mean What it Once Did
Years ago if a woman was diagnosed with Stage Four breast cancer it meant certain demise. Now it does not. With the continuing research and great foundations such as The Susan Komen Foundation, new ground is broken daily. Stage Four is any type of breast cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the lungs, bones, liver or anywhere else in the body that it did not originally begin in. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, lungs and liver. This cancer can spread to other parts of the body but these are the most common areas it attacks.
The incidence of stage four breast cancer has decreased dramatically over the past few years. With early intervention and education women now know to perform self-exams and report any type of lumps or anything out of the norm to the physician. With annual physicals and mammography most breast cancer can be detected early on. Word of caution here: If for one minute you think you detect anything out of the norm and your physician does not seem concerned, get a second opinion! I am in no way saying that any physician does not know what they are doing but there are many cases of women that went to their physician and were told it was “nothing” and the physician was wrong. This is your body and please do not be afraid to be your own advocate.The late discovery of breast cancer does not mean that a woman has days left to live, medical science has come a long way.
With stage four breast cancer there are still many options available to the patient. Seek the best medical care that you can afford. Some of the options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as well as oral medications. Your specialist will take the time to explain all of the options available to you and which plan of treatment will best suit your situation.
The journey of breast cancer is not an easy one. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer there are many support groups available and one should never face this alone. Many breast cancer survivors are available each and every day to help give support and understanding to those who are facing the journey. Breast cancer survivors are just that..they are survivors. Each person learns to deal with things in life differently. The news that you have just been diagnosed with cancer can be a blow that many just do not know how to handle. Learning to sort out your feelings and seeking help that is needed medically can be quite overwhelming. Asking for help or support does not make a person seem weak by any means. Many have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are now living happy, healthy and full lives. Those that were diagnosed early have gone on to have families of their own and live happy productive lives.