Metastatic Breast Cancer

Offering hope to those with metastatic disease

Treating patients with metastatic breast cancer is integral to the comprehensive breast cancer care provided at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. Our cancer care specialists and staff are committed to providing each patient with the highest quality and most personalized treatment options available. You will receive continuous and compassionate care and support from the moment you walk through our doors. 

Metastatic breast cancer can happen at any time. When breast cancer metastasizes, cancer cells spread to lymph nodes or other organs of the body — usually to the liver, bones, lungs and brain. This is also called stage IV breast cancer.

Treating metastatic breast cancer

While metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured, it is treatable. New targeted therapies and novel drug combinations can postpone the progression of disease, relieve cancer-related symptoms and improve quality of life. As a result, patients with metastatic breast cancer are living longer with a better quality of life than ever before.

Our treatments for metastatic breast cancer are founded on evidence-based guidelines and National Cancer Institute guidelines. We conduct leading-edge clinical research trials and our scientists and physicians are actively involved in metastatic breast cancer research, developing new therapies to elevate standards of care for patients with metastatic disease.

Comprehensive, compassionate care

For each patient, we develop a personalized treatment plan as unique to them as her fingerprints. Our patients receive the latest evidence-based therapies.

Patients with metastatic breast disease are not alone in their treatment experience. Expertly trained nurse navigators work exclusively with patients and their specialized care teams, guiding them every step of the way. 

Your care team will comprise dedicated experts from medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology. These specialists will coordinate your care to ensure you receive treatments designed precisely for you. 

In addition, your overall care can include psychological and spiritual services, educational resources, financial and nutrition counseling and support groups.

Clinical trials

You may also be eligible to take part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are scientific studies in which new treatments  ̶  drugs, diagnostic procedures and other therapies  ̶ are tested in patients to determine if they are safe and effective. Nearly all cancer drugs in use today were tested and made available to patients through clinical trials.

As the only NCI-designated Cancer Center in the region, our physicians have access to more clinical trials. With more than 200 cancer specialists at our 12 locations, we offer the largest cancer program in the Kansas City area.

Because of this breadth, our oncologists specialize and focus on particular disease areas. They also stay on top of drug development, evolving treatments and technologies as oncology care changes faster than ever before. Additionally, all of our clinical trials follow National Institutes of Health as well as Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

To learn more about clinical trials offered through The University of Kansas Cancer Center, contact the clinical trial nurse navigator at or 913-945-7552.

Metastatic breast cancer facts

Susan G. Komen announced that it will be awarding Danny Welch, Ph.D., $300,000 to advance research on metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer causes daily challenges, continued treatment regimens, anxiety and a host of emotions because there is no cure. 

  • Some 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. 
  • An estimated 20 to 30 percent of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer. 
  • Metastatic breast cancer can occur 5, 10 or 15 years after original diagnosis, successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms. 
  • More than 40,000 people in the United States die of metastatic breast cancer each year.

Metastatic breast cancer research news

Danny Welch, Ph.D. will receive funding to advance research on metastatic breast cancer. Welch is studying the role of genes that suppress the ability of breast cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body. Learn more.