Links on all
Treatment of Stage IV Breast Cancer
Local therapies like surgery and radiation therapy are not options for stage IV breast cancer patients unless there is a specific problem or symptoms that would require these local treatment modalities. Systemic treatment with chemotherapy drugs or hormonal drugs are the primary treatment for stage IV breast cancer. If the tumor expresses high level of Her2/neu protein then the option of immunotherapy using trastuzumab (Herceptin) alone or in combination with chemotherapy would be available. Herceptin generally is not given as an initial treatment for these women, but is initiated once standard hormone therapy and or chemotherapy is no longer effective. Patients who have metastatic disease to the bone may also be started on a bisphosphonate like pamidronate (Aredia ) or zolendronic acid (Zometa) to stengthen the bones.
Breast cancer resources