How is Metastatic Breast Cancer Treated?


Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage 4 breast cancer, is diagnosed when the cancer has spread outside the breast to other organs, most commonly the bones, brain, liver, and lungs, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

“While [metastatic breast cancer] is not traditionally considered to be curable – meaning that we make it go away and it never comes back again – it is very treatable,” says Dr. Tiffany Troso-Sandoval, MD, a breast oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Patients can live with certain types of metastatic breast cancer for many, many years.”

While someone with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can’t currently be cured of the disease, many treatments can help slow the spread of the cancer or keep it from progressing, manage pain and other symptoms and side effects, and improve quality of life, according to the ACS.

Metastatic breast cancer is most commonly treated using hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drugs, or a combination of these treatments, per the ACS.


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