Much of the research that focuses on finding solutions for breast cancer goes into stages of the disease preceding Stage IV. Stage III is described as "locally advanced breast cancer," but metastatic breast cancer, or Stage IV, means the tumor cells have spread beyond the breast tissue and into other parts of the body.
It is estimated that a fifth of all breast cancer cases are either locally advanced or have spread to other parts of the body at diagnosis. In developing countries, the number can go up to 60%. Additionally, one third of early breast cancer cases will become metastatic regardless of care and treatment received. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) the five-year survival rate after a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis is 22 percent.
While the most pressing concern on most people's minds is getting screened and diagnosed early, experts from all over the world are urging scientists, educators, and pharmaceutical/medical companies to devote more attention to Stage IV breast cancer.
Last Friday, the international guidelines for the management of advanced breast cancer was finally published in two of the most prominent oncology journals: The Breast and Annals of Oncology. Despite these updates, industry experts are still alarmed by the lack of research and development for the following Stage I