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Stage IV advanced stage breast cancer is also known as metastatic breast cancer or distant metastatic cancer. At this stage, the cancer has spread past the breast, underarm and internal mammary glands to other parts of the body. It may have spread to the lungs, liver, bone, brain or other places in the body.

Metastatic therapy is treatment given when the cancer has spread from its original location to involve distant sites.

Treating metastatic breast cancer may include one or more of the same treatments used in earlier stages. For metastatic cancer, the goal is to control the disease for as long as possible and improve or maintain quality of life. Because there are more treatment options available, along with better supportive care and side effect management, more patients are living well and longer with metastatic breast cancer.

Therapy for metastatic breast cancer may include the same treatments as the ones used in neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies, including hormone therapy, biological therapy, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.