diagnosis is scary. Unlike breast cancer, which has a very high survival rate—an average of —metastatic breast cancer isn’t curable.But technology, treatments, and therapies are constantly improving, experts say, which means a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is not an automatic death sentence.“The most important thing to do in the face of a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is to not lose hope,” says , M.D., fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist at Arizona Oncology. “While we can’t currently cure metastatic breast cancer, we can treat it.” Here’s what you need to know about life expectancy after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.Metastatic breast cancer, or stage IV breast cancer, is cancer that originated in the breast, but now, the cancer cells have spread beyond the breasts and lymph nodes to other parts of the body—most commonly, to the bones, lungs, liver, or brain.Women who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have typically recovered from breast cancer only to develop new symptoms years later, such as bone pain, shortness of breath, unexpected weight loss, or persistent fatigue, which signal the cancer cells have spread, says , M.D., associate professor of medicine and fellowship program director of hematology and oncology at The University of Toledo. “It is less common for women to be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer without a prior history of a breast cancer diagnosis,” she says, adding that approximately one in 20 women receive an initial diagnosis of metastatic disease.But not everyone who gets breast cancer later develops metastatic breast cancer.Read more on glamour.com
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