Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain).
In the U.S., it’s estimated that over 154,000 women have metastatic breast cancer . However, it’s not common (about 6 percent) to have metastatic breast cancer when you are first diagnosed (called de novo metastatic breast cancer).
Most often, metastatic breast cancer develops when the cancer returns at some point after the initial breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
This section discusses metastatic breast cancer treatment and care. You can also find information on support for you and your family.
Although metastatic breast cancer is not curable, it can be treated. Treatment focuses on length and quality of life.
As treatment continues to improve, so does survival. Today, some people may live many years with metastatic breast cancer.