NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Stage IV Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
Breast cancer basics
This book focuses on stage IV breast cancers. These
breast cancers have spread beyond the breast and
nearby lymph nodes to distant sites. Breast cancer
that has spread to a distant site is called metastatic
breast cancer. Metastases often occur in the bone,
lung, brain, or liver.
• Inside of women’s breasts are milk ducts,
lobules that can make milk, and fatty tissue
• Breast cancer often starts in the milk ducts or
lobules and then spreads into the stroma.
• Breast cancer can spread outside the breast
through lymph or blood.
• Stage IV breast cancers have spread to
distant sites outside the breast.