8 Ways Metastatic Breast Cancer Is Different from Stages I-IIIThe Breast Cancer Site
Metastatic breast cancer, also referred to as stage IV breast cancer, is the most advanced type of the disease. It occurs when tumors spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, it is incurable, and means that a woman who is diagnosed with it must live with cancer for the rest of her life.
Being diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer can be overwhelming, and yet while there is no cure, many people with metastatic breast cancer can still lead full, rewarding lives and do amazing things. Of course, with the diagnosis comes many changes. Here are some of the ways metastatic breast cancer is different from the other stages of the disease.
8. You’re No Longer Looking for a Cure
As previously mentioned, the unfortunate reality of a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis is that you’ll be living with cancer for the rest of your life, which means your treatment will continue just as long. This will affect every treatment you decide to undergo and what you’re willing to experience. You’re no longer looking for a cure, but you are looking for more time.
7. Other People Will Still Think You’re Curable
The average person doesn’t understand that metastatic breast cancer is incurable — they may be under the assumption that your treatment will end during your lifetime. While you know better, do your best to deal with this. Be clear with your friends and family about your situation.
6. You Have More to Learn About This Type of Cancer
Many people, including those who have metastatic breast cancer, don’t fully understand the disease. Dedicate yourself to learning everything you can. This will not only keep you aware of your options, it will also empower you as you work to manage your care.
5. The Goal of Treatment Becomes to Prolong Life
With each treatment you undergo, you know the objective is now to stay as healthy as you can for as long as possible. Some women with metastatic breast cancer can live several years after a diagnosis with proper treatment and care.
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