January 19, 2007, Newsletter Issue #49: About Stage IV Breast Cancer

Tip of the Week

Breast cancer tends to leave the breast if it can. Therefore stage IV breast cancer involves a spread to distant organs. By this stage, cancer cells have metastasized, or traveled to other parts of the body. Common sites are the bones, the lungs, the brain or the liver. It may no longer be possible to remove stage IV breast cancer through surgery. Mastectomy may still be deemed necessary to remove the main source of cancer, but if your cancer has reached stage IV, you should begin to familiarize yourself with chemotherapy. Your doctor will most likely order this systemic treatment to find and destroy cancer cells throughout your body. Therefore, the more you know about chemotherapy, the less intimidating it will seem. You should also take this opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you have about the treatment that lies ahead.

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