Stage IV breast cancer spread to liver and bones
Treatment of Stage IV (Metastatic) Breast Cancer
Metastatic breast cancer also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer is not a specific type of breast cancer. It's the most advanced stage of breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs in the body most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer not bone cancer. Therefore, it's treated with breast cancer drugs, rather than treatments for a cancer that began in the bones.
Bone Metastasis: Symptoms and Diagnosis
Metastatic breast cancer also called stage IV is breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body, most commonly the liver, brain, bones, or lungs. Cancer cells can break away from the original tumor in the breast and travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, which is a large network of nodes and vessels that works to remove bacteria, viruses, and cellular waste products. Breast cancer can come back in another part of the body months or years after the original diagnosis and treatment.
At the U-M Rogel Cancer Center, treatment of bone metastasis takes place in the clinic where the originating cancer is treated. For example, if prostate cancer has metastasized into the bone, it is treated in the Urologic Oncology Clinic. Call the Cancer AnswerLine at for help finding the clinic you need. The bone is a common site for metastasis.