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Stage 4 Breast Cancer and Common Methods of Treatment


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With diagnoses of Stage 4 breast cancer you know the cancer has expanded to other places in the body. Focused treatment of this stage of breast cancer at present does not offer a cure for this disease. Treating with radiation or surgery is not adequate. Other areas involved can include the brain, liver, bones or lungs. Even though it is commonly life threatening at some point, patients with this stage of breast cancer can live for many years to come.

Treatment to reduce the size of the cancer can slow down the disease. It can make the patient feel better and allow for a longer life for the patient.

Many factors can impact the efficiency of a specific treatment for a patient. Some of the common treatments used with Stage 4 breast cancer are hormone therapy, biological therapy, radiation and surgery, clinical trials, and use of other drugs impact.

Cancers that need hormones to grow are hormone receptor positive cancers. Women treated for hormone receptor positive cancers can be treated successfully with hormone therapy. Newer drugs, such as the aromatase inactivator Aromasin, along with aromatase inhibitors Femara and Arimidex are presenting great promise in treatment. These drugs cause a decrease in the amount of estrogen the patient's body makes. These drugs can choke the cancer causing it to slow down cutting off the supply of estrogen the cancer requires in order to thrive. Another drug used successfully for many years to block the effects of estrogen is Tamoxifen.

Herceptin is a new drug used to treat women with metastatic breast cancer that is HER2 positive. Biological therapy is however a more recent method for cancer treatment. A surplus of a protein identified as HER2 makes the cancer spread quickly in almost twenty five percent of women with breast cancer. Herceptin stops this protein from making the cancer cells to grow. It may also give strength to the immune system to fight the cancer on its own. Often it is used along with chemotherapy.

Sometimes radiation and surgery are used in treatment of this cancer. These treatments may help treat the pain and other symptoms in places the cancer has spread. Radiation and surgery are not used to cure cancer.

Any successful treatments available today started out in a clinical trial. A clinical trial makes available new and advanced treatments. Many new treatments, new therapies, new drugs and new combination are presently in clinical trials. They are open to many women with Stage 4 breast cancer in today's fight against breast cancer.

Nausea, infections, and fatigue are some of the side effects brought on by breast cancer treatment. These side effects may be relieved with the help of other drugs. This can help women with Stage 4 breast cancer deal better with this disease by a reduction in some of these side effects.

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