What is Stage 4 Cancer and is it only Treatable and not Curable?

If you are being diagnosed for cancer then you must know what stage 4 of cancer is as then you need a far different treatment than what is being hitherto followed. This is mainly because in the fourth stage the cancer is generally seen as an advancing one and ought to have invaded the neighboring tissues and organs. The stages are a way for doctors to ascertain how much progress the cancer has made and what treatment can either arrest their further spread or limit the activities of cancer cells. The doctor first diagnoses a person and then asks him or her to take a few medical or clinical tests and once the report is received the doctor places the cancer in one of those stages following which quick treatment is suggested.

The doctor would no doubt have a chart containing the four stages and the treatment assigned to each of these stages so that he or she needn’t waste time for further analysis. The stage 4 cancer is usually a very serious stage and this is the stage when the doctor only suggests treatment for reducing the pain as many neighboring tissues are also affected and the patients span of life may stretch anywhere from one year to five years at the most. However, some patients have miraculously escaped the wrath of death even in this 4th stage.

The four stages of cancer

In the first stage your cancer or tumor are no more than two centimeters in length as well as breadth. In many cases these are hidden from view of even MRI scan and therefore the cancer has to progress to the next stage in order that they become visible. In case of breast cancer in woman this may not be so for they are instantly detected under scan. Some cancers remain only in the first stage and do not grow beyond that. In the stage two of the cancer the tumor generally has grown from the original two centimeters to five and above centimeters. Certain, tissues and lymph nodes may have been affected due to this yet it is still seen that the cancer has not spread to the neighboring organs.

When the cancer reaches the stage 3 then the tumor is quite large enough and will have affected lymph nodes or glands and yet it is still regarded as treatable and curable. In the stage 4 the cancer can be detected to be of any size and this also means that in an advanced stage so that your doctor can start treating the patient. During this stage the cancer may not even respond to any treatment.

Risks of 4th stage

In this stage the cancer is very dangerous and in some cases they may even break away from the mass and enter into the blood stream. When it spreads to other regions then it is commonly seen as secondary cancer. The last stage generally is treatable but not curable and at the most the patient can expect is extension of life.