What is Stage 4 cancer?

understanding your clients Oct 12, 2021

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Sarah from Metastatic Mamas helps us to understand the language of cancer diagnosis. She explains the terms secondary, metastatic and stage 4 as well as touching on the terminal. 

Metastatic cancer kills 31 people a day in the UK1, that’s one every 45 minutes2.  There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. In around 5% of women, breast cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed2

Breast Cancer Now report the general signs and symptoms of secondary breast cancer as being  similar to those of other conditions and include.

  • Feeling constantly tired
  • Constant nausea (feeling sick)
  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite2

The more specific symptoms depend upon the area to which the cancer has spread. Common areas include bones, lungs, liver and brain2

Symptoms should be reported to a healthcare professional if they are new, don’t have a clear cause, persist or cause you concern.


  2. (accessed 12 October 2021)


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