Cancer Coaching Metastatic Breast Cancer- Is There Any Hope?

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My interpretation of your email is that your mom’s breast cancer has metastasized (spread) to her liver. I agree that more toxic therapies will a) not help your mom and 2) make her sicker than she already is

Hello. My mother has stage 4 liver cancer. She has 4 tumours that are fairly huge in size , they have almost engulfed her liver. She started out with breast cancer. And they did chemo and radiation . Removed both breasts & did reconstructive surgery. She thought she was in remission, but the cancer spread & she isn’t doing too well.

They tried the second time doing chemo & it was killing her. They are now talking about trying it for a third time & I just don’t think that’s the right thing for her.

I’m wondering what she could possibly do to survive , as they have given her 3 months to live & have her on palliative care.. is there any hope? She’s on CBD oil, but I’m afraid it’s too late. Recently she’s taken a mini stroke , so I dunno how much longer she truly has…

Hi Mavis-

You and your mom are in a difficult situation. My interpretation of your email is that your mom’s breast cancer has metastasized (spread) to her liver. I agree that more toxic therapies will a) not help your mom and 2) make her sicker than she already is.

As you mention, her situation is complicated with co-morbidities such as her mini-stroke.

As for therapies that might slow or eliminate your mom’s cancer, at this point there will only be non-conventional therapies such as CBD oil. While this therapy may be anti-cancer (the research is thin), your mom should be able to manage her pain better if there is a percentage of THC in the CBD oil. Further, there are other non-conventional therapies to consider such as intravenous vitamin C or acupunture (to manage pain) and others but the research is limited if at all and there may be expense involved.

Studies show that cancer patients who enter pallative care while continuing with therapies will live longer with less pain than those cancer patients who do not enter pallative care. My point is that you are doing well to have already begun P.C.

To answer your question “Is there any hope?” while I always believe there is “hope,” I can say only that there is very little chance of conventional therapies helping, and there is less and less chance of anything curing your mom’s cancer the more your mom’s cancer advances.

Managing your mom’s pain and side effects through palliative care at this point is a goal in my experience as a cancer coach. Making your mom as comfortable as possible for whatever time she has left is worthwhile at this stage.

Let me know if you have any questions.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer: Prognosis and Survival Rate

“If your doctor has made a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, this means that the cancer has advanced to what’s known as stage 4.

Stage 4 breast cancer refers to cancer that’s spread beyond the breast tissue and local lymph nodes into other areas of the body.

To understand the prognosis, or outlook, for stage 4 breast cancer, it helps to know something about the process of metastasis. When cancer “metastasizes,” it has spread beyond the part of the body where it originated.

In the case of breast cancer, receiving a stage 4 diagnosis may mean the cancer has reached organs outside the breasts, like your bones or your lungs. In this article, we’ll go over what to expect when it comes to metastatic breast cancer, from prognosis to treatment…

Survival rates for metastatic breast cancer

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS)Trusted Source, the 5-year survival rate after diagnosis for people with stage 4 breast cancer is 28 percent. This percentage is considerably lower than earlier stages. For all stages, the overall 5-year survival rate is 90 percent.

Because survival rates are higher in the early stages of breast cancer, early diagnosis and treatment is crucial. But remember: The right treatment for stage 4 breast cancer can improve quality of life and longevity…

Life expectancy for metastatic breast cancer

Life expectancy for breast cancer is based on studies of many people with the condition. These statistics can’t predict your personal outcome — each person’s outlook is different.

The following factors can affect your life expectancy with metastatic breast cancer:

  • your age
  • your general health
  • hormone receptors and HER2 receptors on cells with cancer
  • the types of tissue that the cancer has affected

Treatment for metastatic breast cancer

The main treatments for stage 4 breast cancer are targeted drug (systemic) therapies that destroy cancer cells wherever they are in your body.

These treatments may include:

  • hormone therapy, which stops or slows the growth of tumors by preventing your body from producing hormones or interfering with the effect of hormones on breast cancer cells
  • chemotherapy, where drugs given orally or through an IV travel through your bloodstream to fight cancer cells
  • immunotherapy, which uses drugs that stimulate your immune system to destroy cancer cells
  • a combination of these therapies..”

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