Metastatic breast cancer occurs when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. This usually includes the lungs, liver, bones or brain. This is also referred as advanced breast cancer, secondary cancers or stage IV breast cancer.
Usually metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed some time after the initial diagnosis of breast cancer. But, sometimes, it is diagnosed at the same time and rarely before the primary breast cancer has been diagnosed.
A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer can be treated but not be cured. The aim is to control and slow down the spread of the cancer, to relieve the symptoms and to achieve the best quality of life for as long as possible.
There are many treatments that can keep the cancer under control, often for years.
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