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What is stage 4 breast cancer life expectancy?

36 answers | Last updated: Aug 25, 2015
An anonymous caregiver asked...

My mother was diagnosed in January 2009 with stage four breast cancer. She had the tumor removed and nine lymph nodes. All of them were positive. She had a body scan and found the cancer had spread to the bone and liver. Test showed - spine (c1 & c5), cervix, left shoulder and arm, left leg (with fracture) and spots showing in several other areas. She did have radiation only on the left femur fracture. She was terribly ill and has since decided not to go through chemotherapy. She is human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) positive, as well. She is very tired all the time, sleeps a lot and is in so much pain she can't stand it. A recent MRI showed no sign of cancer in the brain yet. Our question is, with the given information, what is the "average" stage 4 breast cancer life expectancy? Her doctor has not been helpful and no one gives direct answers, ever. We just went through a long cancerous battle with my father and he passed in May 2008. No sugar coating needed here...thank you kindly.


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Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.
31% helpful
Andrew Putnam answered...

Although we have no crystal ball, it is quite clear that your mother's condition is quite grave. Even without brain mets, liver mets and widespread bone mets make a short life-span likely. Average life expectancy for someone in your mother's condition could be 1 to 2 months. She could die from the cancer in her liver but also from the results of her inactivity due to pain and medications. It is important at this point that she do whatever she needs to do to prepare herself for the end of her life.


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29% helpful
heatherbrown7751 answered...

It's hard telling with any cancer. No, I'm no doctor by any means, but this May my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that started in her right breast and went to her lymphnods, lungs, liver, ovaries, and bone. Within a month after finding out she was put in the hospital for pain and she shattered her right hip and broke her left femur. A month after that she was released but obviously wheel chair bound. This past Friday they did a hip replacement where they had to remove some scar tissue as well as one tumor just to do the replacement. Their goal is to get her mobile for more chemo options. She pulled through the surgery and is expected to be released this week. They haven't given her a life expectancy, but she has already pulled through waaaayyyy more that they have expected her to pull through. Yes, cancer sucks, yes, it spreads quickly, but nothing is impossible. The best thing that she can do is stay as positive as possible through all of this and all pray for a miracle. Your mother and family are in my prayers. Heather


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Jannie answered...

Even if dr's wanted to give a prognosis, I don't believe that they truly know what to tell you. My father had colon cancer and was operated on twice for it during a hospitalization that lasted almost 3 mos. Every time they operated another adhesion formed causing a new blockage. He ended up with 5ft of intestine. When he was released from the hospital, the dr's gave him six months to live. That was 13 years ago........My mother has had colon cancer twice, a radical masectomy for breast cancer, skin cancer, heart catherization, bp, and diabetes. She IS 84. Though they have both been through the mill, they are still together (married 65 years!), living by themselves - a sibling checks on them daily - and still going strong.

As Heather said, "yes, cancer SUCKS!" and having to watch any one you love go through the pain and suffering also sucks but "nothing is impossible". PRAY, PRAY and PRAY some more. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Janet


35% helpful
oncologyrn answered...

If your mother is estrogen receptor positive (ER)or progesterone receptor positive (PR) she can get oral hormonal therapies that may help decrease the amount of active cancer. Since she is also Her 2 positive, she may benefit from herceptin as well. Herceptin is NOT chemotherapy and most people tolerate it very well. She will need a heart test (ECHO)before starting this treatment and only her oncologist can really determine if she is a candidate for this treatment based on her lab work etc. With no treatment, it is true that it may only be a few months, if she is a candidate for any of the above, it may very well prolong and improve her quality of life; which should be the ultimate goal as stage 4 breast cancer is not curable.


56% helpful
Lily C answered...

I am a patient with Stage 4 metestactic Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed in December 2008 with metastatic disease orgininating in my left breast and present in my left lung, liver, spleen, four spots on my spine and under my collar bone. I had one chemotherapy treatment afterwhich I developed a perforated colon requiring emergency surgery. I came very close to dieing durring the surgery and was near death after surgery. The surgeon was not competent who performed surgery and created complications. I then developed pneumonia. It is now eighteen months later and I have spent most of that time in bed alternating with the gym to build my stamina. I have been treated with femarra as traditional chemo was not possible post surgery. All cancer is gone from my scans except small, and shrinking, tumors in left breast and under collar bone. No one knows how long we have. Doctors had largely written me off last year and are amazed. I fired many doctors before I found my "team" (all are honest and realistic optomists by nature) who, along with daughters who have surrounded me, are responsible for my feeling very well at this stage. I could not believe how negative so many of the professionals I encountered were. If I had subjected myself to these people on a regular basis I feel they would have worn me down until I believed the gloom and doom. My advise is as fllows: Higher proffessionals who are passionate about what they do and who view you as a survivor. Do everything they say. Research things like exercise and diet and create a diaglogue with those treating you. Do not act out of fear, but make well thought and considered choices based on knowledge. Keep those who love and care for you close and be honest with them. Understand you are not alone.


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mom's caregiver825 answered...

My 80 year old mom was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in April 2007, it is in her liver, spleen and bones. My mother went through numerous chemo treatments from 5/2007 until 10/2009; she had radiation to her leg in 2/2010 which only made her bone pain worse. She is no longer taking any treatment and only God knows the length of her days. Cherish everyday that you can spend with your mother and just love her as much as you can.


47% helpful
stitchymom answered...

I love all of your answers. I am a stage 3 breast cancer survivor that was HER 2 positive and on Herceptin. The Herceptin did not make me sick at all. The stronger chemo's prior did. What I would like to say is that I recently heard of someone with pancreatic cancer who was given a month or two to live. That was 17 years ago. While we do want to make our peace with the disease, we still need to know that nothing is etched in stone. Take each day as it comes and as I always say, if they are willing to treat you there is always hope. You mother should consider a bit of exercise though. A funny thing about that is that if you exercise it gives you a little more energy and a little more life. I am not suggesting a full blown program, but perhaps some walking would do wonoders.


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Stilldreamin' answered...

All of you sound like such strong and positive people, just what I'm looking for. All my friends keep telling me 'you'll be fine, your strong.' It just sounds so condescending to me. I just need some honest answers. I know docs can't give you a day or month but I just would like to know a little more. Maybe some of you can help me. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in my left breast, at the time of diagnosis it was already in my lungs, liver, lymph nodes, bones, and marrow. That was in July of last year. I do know it is HER2 negative, PR positive. Invasive ductal carcinoma. God Bless all of you. You will all be in my prayers.


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Nadi answered...

I sincerely want to thank everyone for posting. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer December 6, 2010 and immediately thought I was given a death sentence. I am still going through all of the testing, the MRIs, Bone scans etc so i haven't even began any treatment. I literally was doing a self exam one day, at the end of the week I felt the abnormality my OBGYN confirmed there was something wrong; we scheduled my very first mammogram (I turned 40 in August of this year); the mammogram showed calcification and a mass so we then did the ultrasound and scheduled the lumpectomy December 3. As I stated above three days later I was told I was in stage 3 of Breast Cancer. Today is only December 10. The entire situation is sureal but I've been doing research and this page has been extremely helpful. I am so tired of comforting everyone else for what is going on with me. This has been so informative. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


27% helpful
AnnMarie B answered...

December, 2008, at the age of 48, I found a lump above my right breast that would be enflamed, and then would deflate. I thought it was nothing more than a blocked milk duct. I was so focused on completing my education that foolishly I let it go. Long story short, I fractured my right hip and 2 ribs because my bones were so fragile and compromised. My pelvis was riddled with cancer, it was all due to metastatic breast cancer in my right breast. A bone scan revealed that I had cancerous liaisons all over my skeleton (pelvis, legs, left arm, neck, etc.) I completed chemo in March 2010, had my right hip and femur replaced in April 2010, and had a lumpectomy in May 2010. My oncologist told me I was not dying. After treatments and remaining on cancer fighting meds (zometa and falsladex for the rest of my life) I will be able to live for a about 10 years. He did tell me he has other patients who have exceeded the 10 years that the medical association suggests. Remember, with God all things are possible. After completing chemo and radiation (on my ribs, pelvis, and femur) I now am drinking a homeopathic tea called Essiac tea. A Canadian woman in the 1930's developed this tea that is suppose to cure cancer. It is a detoxifying tea. Even if it does nothing more than detox my system of some of the poisons from the chemo, radiation and all the meds from my body then I am ahead of the game. Stay strong, positive and continue to pray. We will not leave this earth a moment before the good Lord wants us.


15% helpful
echo answered...

Nadi Here's a great website to communicate with others in your same situation: http://community.breastcancer.org/ Go to their home page if looking for medical info. Lots of cancer patients online all the time!


31% helpful
Albrecht answered...

My mother was also diagnosed with a breast cancer four years ago, I was really shocked after knowing her condition, after her breast was removed through mastectomy, we received the most beautiful news after a week for her cancer has been removed too and it had not been scattered to her lymph nodes and other organs because of my mom's early detection of her cancer...we should not be afraid if we found out we're having this sickness (cancer) but instead we should find ways how to get rid of it...the most wonderful thing that we did as entire family was PRAY..PRAY....PRAY....and PRAY....................in God nothing is impossible..........


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momof42010 answered...

Hi I just wanted to say that my mom is also stage 4 breast cancer she has been fighting breast cancer since 2005 and she has been on herceptin and other meds she now has it in her liver and both lungs and the middle of her chest she has done every chemist treatment out there and she has done radiation I don't know much because I am scared for her and I can't stand to watch her go through this I need some seriuose advice and what i should know about this horrible disease that would help me help her and cope at the same time I have been very stingy at this point I have only looked out for how it makes me feel so please help me .


23% helpful
echo answered...

For all you ladies that either have breast cancer or whose mothers do, I highly suggest you visit this site if you want REAL answers to your questions from women who are either now going thru the same thing or who have in the past. It's a very active site with hundreds of members. They will give you honest, direct answers to your questions. I found it extremely helpful when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and still visit it frequently.

You'll find lots of help there and suggestions as to what worked best for them, both during and after chemo.

Good luck to all.......



44% helpful
Lily C answered...

I am a stage IV patient of two and a half years. The best advise I can offer is to find another Doctor or Doctors. You, your Mother and the rest of your family need honest and frank discussions about your Mother's condition. You are part of her team and if the physician is not working with you as a team member, get rid of them. I currently have seven Doctors of various types and have fired seventeen doctors to get where I am now.

When first diagnosed I had an original site in my upper axila (under arm) but it is considered breast cancer. I mets in left lung, under two sides of my collar bone, four places on my spine, my liver and spleen. I had one chemo treatment, then a perforated colon, which required two emergency surgeries (first surgeon botched the job, followed by pneumonia a month later. Docotors told me for ten months that I was going to die and I refused to believe them.

The first oncologist who saw me, a young woman about 32 years old, had clearly written me off already and was certainly not interested in being a partner in getting me well. The third oncologist I spoke to came into my hospital room at 7pm the Friday evening before Christmas gave me a stack of scan and lab results and dicussed in detail each test result, what he thought was likely true, what was questionable, and what he felt might not be true. He spent over two hours with me. No question was irrelevent. I asked him to be bluntly honest and frank with me. No going to my children behind my back, give it all to me and let me decide what I would share and how I would prepare my family. When I had a significant problem on Christmas morning, he was in my hospital room in under thirty minutes(he has a family and children). I am so fortunate to have him as my oncologist.

I do not allow Doctors to treat me who: 1. Do not return phone calls. 2. Do not frankly/honestly answer questions. 3. Do not respect health choices as being made by me. 4. Who use Residents or Interns in hospitals so they are off the hook. 5. Who do not routinely visit me in the hospital to monitor my condition for themselves. 6. Who sit and recite the hours during which they are available, then tell me after hours I have access to the emergency room. Your illness is not part time, so neither can your doctor. 7. Who do not fully disclose the ramifications and side effects of all drugs and proceedures they are prescribing or recommending.I would suggest you always ask about the negative impacts of these items before, not after, you agree to them as a course of treatment. Two and a half years later the only active, and shrinking, cancer in my body is under my collar bone. I have had many surgeries and spent several years largely in bed.

But I am back at the gym this week (after three planned surgeries in seven months) and advance planning to participate in the Tin Man Marathon in Hawaii with my two daughters three years from this last July. Afterwhich I intend to go back to work full time. I may not get to do those things, but I AM working toward them optimistically.

Am sure you might have heard this before, but it is certainly true in my case that cancer has improved my life. I am much closer to my children, I have (painfully) found out who my friends are and aren't, and the things I take on now are much more meaningful.

I wish you and your Mother the gift of optimism and the energy and fortune to get her back to good health and more time spent together. You are in my prayers.


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An anonymous caregiver answered...

All's not lost.I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 6/07. I too am HER2+. Long story short, my cancer came back 12/10, state 4. I had 6 liver lesions, two almost 5cm. It also spread to my neck, sternum, my lower & middle spine. In 1/11 I started a trial drug called TDM1. After the first three treatments, four of my liver lesions were gone. The two large ones dwindled quickly and now the Dr's say that they are either barely visible or it's dead tissue that is showing up on the scans. My bones have continued to improve greatly. After 10 months, I have stablized. The battle is still far from over, but I'm here today writing you. The test drug has minimal side effects. Only the last few treatments have I been so tired. Please check with your Dr's regarding this drug. I pray the Lord keep your mom and your family close to Him during this trial.


29% helpful
Dale in Mass answered...

There is no need to give up hope. You just need to find the right doctor, who knows about cancer and has been treating it successfully for 37 years. I'm talking about the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, TX. His motto is "First Do no Harm." They treat cancer, including breast and brain tumors, with Gene-targeted medication, getting at to the cause of cancer, rather than the AMA way (radiation, chemo, and surgery). Dr. Burzynski was first in his class at medical school with both an M.D. and PHD. My wife at age 62 was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in March 2011. We flew to Texas to the clinic. She has been taking FDA-approved pills of Afinitor and Xeloda, and one injection once a month of Xgeva, which I give her. We could not get Avastin, because we couldn't get any oncologist in Massachusetts to help us, because they wanted to do their own protocol. That includes Mass General, Dana Farber, and others. Result: My wife's cancer markers have dropped 65% in 6 months, and all other sites in her body (liver, lungs, back) now show no signs of cancer. Her breast tumor has been reduced by 25%. No hair loss, no nausa or vomiting, because she had no radiation. For more information, look at www.burzynskiclinic.com. Warning: It is expensive. We are back in Mass with a $30,000 debt and can only pay the interest. Even with insurance help, the co-pays run about $1000 per month. But at least my wife is on the way to recovery. Not like the doom & gloom we first received from Mass General in Boston. P.S. For the 5th time in 37 years, the AMA, the FDA, the Pharma industry, and the Texas Board of Medical Examiners are taking Dr. Burzynski to court to try to put him out of business. Four other times, his cured patients have come to testify in court. This includes kids who came to him with golf-ball size tumors in the brain, which the AMA doctors were going to radiate through their brain, reduce them to vegetables, and only gave them 2 months to live. After treatment with anti-neuplastins from the Bruzynski cliic, now those kids have grown and have children of their own.


75% helpful
scaredkid answered...

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in Jan 1998. She had a stem cell transplant, months and months of chemo, radiation, and 12 lymph nodes removed all with cancer. She also had a thyroid tumor removed as well and a double mastectomy. She fought that for a few years and was then in remission. The past few years she's been dealing with a lot of pain. She has had decompression in her spine and has had severe headaches and a hard time with mobility. She is also a life long drug addict and alcoholic with bipolar disorder. Last summer she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer to bone. They found a tumor on her skull (causing headaches), spine, pelvis, and extremities. She fractured her femur and had a cage put in. They did 2 radiation treatments, give her injections, and a lot of pain medication. She has yet to get a PET scan to detect the degree of spreading to organs, if any. However, the initial CT scan says lungs and liver are ok.

She just went into the hospital last week for severe pain. They have had to give her deep spinal injections for pain recently. They did a new bone scan and found the initial areas where her cancer was detected are now darker and its worse.

My issue is that they really don't say how long this will last. I know they will never truly know. But, I know that they have somewhat of an idea. My mom has been unhealthy her entire life and has smoked since she was 12. They have to have some idea of how long this is going to be this way. Unfortunately for someone with a drug addiction bone cancer is the worst cancer to get in my opinion. All they do is provide her with tons and tons of medications that keep her loopy and high. She already is bipolar and has no real quality of life and now they just keep her completely incoherent all the time. Anyway, I just wish I knew how long this is going to last. I wish I knew if they're going to be able to get rid of it. But every time I ask her questions it sounds like they are only planning on managing her pain. I get very worried because my siblings are minors and I dont know what will happen to them.

I guess I just needed to vent but if anyone has anything to say that would be great.


60% helpful
Naomy answered...

Cancer is a horrible monstrous disease. It not only affects the victim but it sucks the life of everyone else involved. My mum was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2005. She underwent mastectomy on the cancerous breast along with chemo and radiotherapy. She had been in remission up-to November 2010 where after several months of non-stop coughing and general illness, she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer with metastases to the lungs. I lost her last year August and haven't really talked about it to anyone because it is as painful as it gets.

The outlook is never good for advanced cancer but you have to fight to the end. I wish I knew about the disease the time she was alive like I do now. First thing is to know about what you are dealing with, in and out. Then you have to know how to boost the immune system. Poor immune system=fast progress of disease plus low chance of fighting infections. That is the most paramount thing when dealing with any disease. I will refer to you and everyone else interested to a blog about a man fighting stage 4 cancer which I stumbled a few months ago. I recommend you to PLEASE read it. This is a man who is trying everything and has nothing to lose. Desperate times require desperate measures. He chronicles what he eats, the medication he takes, procedures he undergoes, supplements, etc. He combines generally everything that I have seen people suggest from diets, exercises, alternative medicine etc. I can't emphasize enough how insightful it was. Here is the link to the website.



38% helpful
cdbernal answered...

i was first diagnosed stage iv breast cancer, triple positive, HER2+3. I had no surgery, went straight to Herceptin and Abraxane and all of it was gone in 5 months - that was almost 6 years ago. I also take femara for estrogen positivity. Please tell her to not turn down the treatments. Herceptin is a very targeted wonder drug that melts her2 like snow. Do green matcha teach, reservatrol, hydrate, no sugar or alcohol. Alkaline the body with green drinks, no red meats or pork, take 2000 mg of vitamin D3 and calcium with magnesium. If estrogen positive also take calcium d glucarate. Take Turmeric, very cancer fighting. take twice as much protein when trying to heal. if you cant sleep try melotonin starting with 1-3 mgs, up to 25. I took 25 right away and my tumor markers when down in 1/2 that week. also was in big bear where I felt healed. I later found out that high altitudes alkalines your blood. Anything that boosts the immune system, iv vitamin C. I ate a lot of fiber as well as raw almonds which have fiber and vitamin E. I ate lots of brocolli, cabbage juice, beet juice for my liver (makes urine red the next day, don't be scared) I juiced fruits and vegetables like crazy. I took probiotics, the ones in the fridge as well as digestive enzymes. Good luck and I will keep her in my prayers.....


50% helpful
Bonagrande answered...

Sorry about your mom. In cases where cancer has metasticized to other organa and bones, keep an eye on thr blood work-ups that are done. The main signal of a rapidly deteriorating patient is a big drop in the red blood cell count. Red cells are produced by bone marrow and advanced cancer will severely affect the marrow's ability to function normally, or at all. Blood transfusions can temporarily improved this situation but it is only a stop-gap measure. Usually, it isn't long before transfusions are needed very often, a sign that cancer is winning the battle. Death comes fairly soon at this point but some individuals hang on longer than is expected. Just make sure the patient is not in any pain. Hospice care is a very good option.


55% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer her2. I had a mastectomy on left breast and removal of several lymphs. I had tumors on my liver. I had chemo, radiation and now herceptin every 3 weeks. The liver tumors are pimple size now. I am in the remission stage. It will be five years since diagnosis in November. NEVER! NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!! My husband always tells me quitting is not an option!! Also, there are many new things coming down the pike. I hope you have a good support group. Loving thoughts and prayer from me to you!!


33% helpful
Cmarquez answered...

my mom was diagnosed in sept 2010 with triple negative stage 4 breast cancer and within 6 months of being diagnosed it spread to her bones. it is now nov 2012 and they just gave her five months to live. there is never that type of question but you really need to talk to her doctor and if they dont want to give you a timeline than get another opinion, i got 3 for my mom and it wasnt until the last doctor that finally gave us some peace of mind. May god be with you in this hard time.


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MzMae answered...

I was diagnosed with stage 4 invasive ductal carcinoma at age 24 in 2010. It was HER positive so I do take herceptin. I also take abraxane which is a chemotherapy drug. I have to take abraxane for 3 weeks out of the four week cycle and the herceptin every week of the cycle. i have been doing this for about 3 years contiously with minor breaks. I had a radical right breast mastectomy 20 lymph nodes involved and 12 nodules on my lungs. I pray and always have a positive attitude. I have a set of twins I have to support on my own do I have no other chose. My physicians are awesome and they work well with me. Just wish I could get a vacation for me and the kiddos. The bills are so expensive.... And I have to take this for the rest of my life until I'm not able to handle side effects (severe neuropathy, CHF, etc) I really hopes she gets better!!


100% helpful
ronsan answered...

I know this may not be much help but realize that every person is different, every cancer is unique and reacts and/or spreads at different rates and in different people. some people can live for years with multiple metastases, others may die in a few short months. Some chemotherapy drugs work for some and don't work for others...A lot of what oncologists do is trial and error trying different treatments to see what may work for their patients based on their past knowledge and experience or the latest research...My wife has survived for 23 years with metastatic breast cancer first with mets to lungs, then bones, now liver. It has now come to the point now where sadly , she may be running out of treatment options, but she has fought this fight as well anyone can fight it and has long outlived her original prognosis.... A positive mental outlook is critical, beyond that have faith and trust.....I pray for each and everyone of you, whether you are patient or a caregiver... Good luck and god bless


50% helpful
RomanRose answered...

I am SO sorry to hear about your mother, and I will pray for her and your family during this time. Remember to never lose faith and hope, my mom and family never did. Unfortunately in our case, what Dr. Putnam described is pretty much exactly what happened to my beloved mother. She passed on Valentine's Day after a five year fight with stage IV breast cancer. I am suffering so much right now, plus have been hit very hard with extreme guilt over her death. I know the cancer was all over her bones and liver, and I could not 'make' her eat, or save her, as I naively thought. Her oncologist was NEVER clear with me about her prognosis, side effects, etc. He was always cheerful and that lost me somehow in this hell, because he made it almost seem that mom would be "OK" and recover. He saw that she had unresolved vomiting, due to the Tamoxifen I believe since it seemed to resolve not long after being off of it when they found the liver lesions. He never once suggested the pill was causing it. She was weak more often than not. I believe he knew inside that mom probably wasn't going to be with us much longer, but could not bring himself to tell me..."Don't take away hope". What about keeping hope alive, but being frank about what is really happening, and what may unfortunately be, sooner rather than later? They said he'd be the first to let us know, but he wasn't. It did not spare my feelings, it only has added onto my grief and confused me more. Yes, I read the medical literature and was aware of the facts, my dad is an MD, but I went into a sort of denial because she had thus far somehow managed to stay here with us. I just keep blaming myself now as I was the only one with her for a few months towards the end of her life, and feel I failed her, with the meds, with the food, with everything. It's a horrible pain for a daughter who loves her mother beyond words...she's my soul mate. How can you force someone to eat if they either can't or don't want to? Anyway, many oncologists seem to be this way as I found out in an article an oncologist wrote himself; sorry I forget where I found it and don't have a copy, but read it just a few days ago. I believe that in their effort to not take hope away from the family, they inadvertently harm the one's who were closest to the patient after their passing; it did that to me. I keep thinking "she was supposed to get better", she's supposed to still be with me physically. We had so many plans. Today I will force myself to go to my first grief counseling session. Please pray that they can somehow help me. It is now almost August, and my grief has only become worse. Again, sorry about your mother, I know exactly what you are going through.


An anonymous caregiver answered...

My sister's cancer came back and is now in her bones. I started researching and I have learned so much. There are alternative choices you can choose and have a better quality of life without the bad side effects of chemo/radiation. Whatever treatment you choose believe in it. I myself have learned that we as individuals need to take control of our health by research and learn of our health issues. We should not believe everything the doctors tell us. Question everything and request copies of all blood and lab work done and try and understand what the results mean. There is so much info we can find on the internet. For one resource go to youtube.com and the following keys words can help you.
Intravenous vitamin c, Dr. Thomas Levy, Ozone therapy, oasis of hope hospital, Riordan Clinic, Dr. Linus Pauling, Cancer and nutrition, Dr. G. Edward Griffin, Rick Hill,Dr. Francisco Contreras., Alkaline water. Praying for each and everyone of you.


25% helpful
staci1111 answered...

Don't let her give up! I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to my liver 5 years ago. Herceptin was truly a miracle drug for me. I have had no evidence of disease for 5 years and am living a normal life. It was a very aggressive cancer 8/9 and the doctor didn't give me much hope. I switched doctors and they were so much more positive. The statistics have changed from what you read in books or online. If you or your mom ever needs someone to talk to, I'd be happy to tell my story:). (425)275-1280


60% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I was 44 and a new mother when I was diagnosed with ER-/PR-/HER2 + breast cancer and lung mets. I was given 18 months. That was 11 years ago. I had absolute faith in my doctors, and they were as thrilled as I was when I became their miracle. Now I am taking care of my active 100 year old mother who has just been diagnosed with triple neg breast cancer. We have absolute faith in her doctors that they will do what they can to give her the best quality of remaining life, and minimal suffering. I am also thinking, maybe my mom won't die of breast cancer? Just remember --- those numbers you see online are population statistics, and aren't predictors of what your outcome will be.


weaverdreams answered...

Hello everybody. I've been researching stage 4 breast cancer with bone mets and found people ARE being healed for good from cancer, no matter what the stage. Check out the Gerson Therapy, which involved proper nutrition and detoxing the body.


Goldy48 answered...

Hello - Statistics suggest that only 22% of people with metastatic breast cancer will be alive after 5 years. My question is this. If you only have bone mets, wouldn't your survival prognosis be better than 22% than if you had mets to the liver, lung or bone? I can't find any research on this but surely someone out there knows! Thanks for any information you can provide. My breast/bone mets are ER + and HER 2 -. I am being treated with arimidex and radiation that seems to be working for now.


50% helpful
kathryn bertrand answered...

love it is all up to you with your faith and hope. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that is all over my body including my brain. I am not asking how long I am asking what can you do for me so that my quality of life is good. I was diagnosed in May 2014 and still going strong. Hang in there and have hope. Sending prayers your way


An anonymous caregiver answered...

I was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast cancer in 2009 with mets to my bone and liver. I'm not consumed by how long I have to live. I live to be not consumed. Faith is what I rely on and it feels good. Whenever the doctor's report is bad I just ask for the next plan of treatment. Not everyday is holiday here in my body, but by faith I keep going especially when there are two beautiful children to care for. All the best with your mom.


An anonymous caregiver answered...

I was just told this morning I likely have a metastisis to my C1. Neurosurgeon will have to do surgery for biopsy. I was Stage 3B Breast Cancer 11 years ago. I love the comment, "I live not to be consumed." Exactly! When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen...you will be given somewhere solid to stand, or you will be taught to fly. Thanks for giving me somewhere positive to manage through my emotions.


loissmith answered...

My niece was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2012 with four small mets to her liver and one positive node. They took out a large portion of her liver and did all the usual treatments, mastectomy, chemo, etc. The cancer came back to her liver last year and she had it out again, and she is currently cancer free, pet scans done last month. It has never spread anywhere else in her body. It is a hormone positive cancer so she is on drugs to control it. She was only 30 when diagnosed. She is 33 now and we pray that they got it all and she will have a cure. The doctors are also hopeful that we have a cure. They do actually cure stage 4 breast cancer in a few cases like this one where the mets are very localized, like to the liver, and they can remove them. Even if we do not have a cure, my niece has been given years of her life back and she is healthy and active. Please check MD Anderson cancer center in Houston , Texas if you are stage 4, especially if you just have small mets to the liver. They offer some of the most advanced and progressive treatments in the world. My niece was offered palliative care at the time of diagnosis in California and told to basically go home and die. That was 3 years ago and she is cancer free and going strong. Thank You MD Anderson Hospital!!!


anne moloney answered...

I think the original question centered around life-expectancy. It has been about 3 years since I went on this site because all posts seemed just too filled with the "medical jargon" and it made my head swim! When my cancer was first found in early summer 2011(in the uterus) they couldn't give a "site of origin", but the cells weren't uterus cells. Jump ahead a few weeks and they find all the bones from neck to pelvis loaded with cancer, but "it didn't look like bone cells"...only after a hysterectomy and a bone biopsy did I get the diagnosis: stage IV breast cancer that didn't form a lump in my breast or show on my mammograms.....I've been in chemo(7 different kinds) for 4 years straight...still doing pretty well. I'm not a cancer "survivor", I'm not "battling" cancer - I'm just going ahead with living and letting the cancer do whatever it's going to do....