Stage 4 Cancer Treatments

Stage 4 cancer means that the tumor has metastasized, i.e. there are secondary cancer cells in other organs, so it is necessary to take measures and select an adequate treatment regimen. Oncology does not stand still, and medicine has new treatment options for stage 4 cancer that were not available five or ten years ago.

Can stage 4 of cancer be treated?

In most cases, people diagnosed with stage 4 cancer have distant metastases, indicating that cancer has spread beyond its primary location. In such cases, the chances of remission are low. Some cancers are already classified as terminal at time of diagnosis making. It mostly concerns aggressive low-differentiated tumors.

Nevertheless, the patient can still receive help. In the modern medical community, advanced-stage cancer is described as a chronic disease. It is impossible to cure the patient, but it is possible to prolong his life, improve the general condition, and relieve pain and other symptoms.

In cancer treatment at stage IV, the goal is usually not to achieve remission, as in most cases this is not possible. The oncologists have other goals, such as:

  • To restrain the growth of the primary tumor and metastases and their spread in the body
  • To prolong a patient’s life
  • To preserve the normal functioning of organs and systems
  • To improve a patient’s well-being and quality of life

The main treatment options for stage IV cancer are palliative surgery, drug therapy, radiation therapy, minimally invasive techniques, and methods to alleviate symptoms and support the health condition. All of these techniques are used both separately and in combination.

What treatment options do patients with stage 4 cancer have?

Metastatic cancer is treated by standard methods, including surgery, radiation therapy, and medications. Even though surgery does not prolong life, it is possible to remove the mass either partially, which can help to improve the overall condition. However, drug therapy is usually the most effective one, because it is a systemic treatment that can target both visible tumor cells and those that cannot be detected by the available screening methods.

Currently, many new anti-tumor drugs stabilize the metastatic process and do not allow the disease to progress, while having negligible side effects. Advances in clinical oncology today allow physicians to use targeted therapy and immunotherapy for stage 4 cancer, and significantly improve patients’ quality of life.

The most common treatment is conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, which suppresses all rapidly dividing cells. This is a rather aggressive therapy. Fortunately, today there’s an opportunity to add more individualized, targeted therapies. These are so-called targeted drugs that act selectively on a specific molecular target in the tumor. The two treatments complement each other perfectly, allowing them to slow down or even stop the growth of the tumor.

There’s more information about new cancer treatment at stage IV on the Booking Health website.

Undergoing treatment for stage 4 cancer during a lockdown

With a properly chosen treatment regimen, some cancers at stage 4 can be considered a chronic condition. Unfortunately, new therapies that comply with international standards are not always available in your local medical institutions, because they may be not included in the local protocol. That is why staying open to the option of treatment abroad is very important as it allows patients to undergo treatment with innovative methods.

Booking Health can help you organize the treatment abroad by taking over all of the organizational issues. You don’t have to stress over negotiating with a hospital, translating your medical documents, applying for a visa, booking the flight tickets – Booking Health takes care of all of this, and even more. As the whole treatment arrangement becomes more complicated with the lockdown in many countries, it is helpful to have someone who knows the current situation around medical tourism and lockdown restrictions.

If you need any information, do not hesitate to leave a request on the Booking Health website, and a medical advisor will answer your questions.