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What EXACTLY does Stage IV Mean

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

The meaning I was told from day 1 was Stage IV means.... we can ONLY treat your cancer....you will NEVER be cured from stage IV....as there is NO cure for this TERMINAL illness. If you get to the "NED" status...and NEVER have a recurrance....would you not have been "CURED"?.....OR do you maintain the "terminal status" until death do you part because as a stage IV you will FOREVER be faced with recurrance. Grim subject..... I know....but wondering minds want to know...... Anything less than a stage IV.... once NED.... is the recurrance factor still there??? Even tho they are "curable"?????... Just thinking out loud..hummmmmmmm...


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

As far as I know, it means it's metastasized to other organs.
I was told by my Oncologist we are going for curing me.
Terminals are for airports...
I think you were misinformed Jennie.

This is from the ACS website
Stage IV
Any T, Any N, M1:
The cancer may or may not have grown through the wall of the colon or rectum, and it may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes. It has spread to distant sites such as the liver, lung, peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), or ovary.

Hoppy Easter!

abrub's picture
Posts: 2158
Joined: Mar 2010

I, too, was told that Stage 4 means it has spread to unrelated organ(s). In my case, appendix cancer spread to ovary and omentum by peritoneal seeding - unrelated organs, not spread by blood or lymph, still stage 4.

I was also told by the same dr that my cancer may be curable.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"abrub" and Phil hit it on the noggin. And abrub's description is what
you will read in most all literature..

Cure? Well... why not? Although there are differences between
staging, but it actually doesn't change the overall scheme of things.

My friend was a stage one, and "NED" as some here call it,
and although diagnosed only a few months prior to my (3c/4) diagnoses,
he died last month with advanced cancer metastasis.

And if you read this forum enough, you'll find many, many here
that were stage four, quite alive and well today, years later.

"as there is NO cure for this TERMINAL illness"

No, western medicine has no "cure" for any disease. They have
antibiotics etc, to kill bacteria, germs, etc, but to actually "cure"
anything? No.

But your own body can cure it's own ills, if it's provided what
it needs.

Yeah, I know I sound like some wishful thinking holistic meathead,
but it's true. Our body was designed to take care of itself, and
it does that very, very well when we pay attention to it's needs.

So..... with that.... read here at this forum all the ways some of
us did our battle, and do what -you- can to assist your own
body in -your- battle... Cancer can't be cured, because medicine
alone will never cure it....

But -you- can help your own body get rid of cancer cells before they do you harm.

And -that- is your "cure".

Think healthy.


Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Right on John. I could not agree more. We play a major role in killing off the cancer. Too many folks depend solely on their doctors and meds. You have to get into the battle and not just sit on the sidelines. Damned if we did not get back to my old friend attitude.

In this battle, don’t become a POW.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Since my DX I have always had this "thing" in the back of my head trying to tell me this is what I was going to die from....BUT...I could not...and would not..accept that. No ONE person knows what is going to take me down. I knew from the start that this crap wasn't going to become my fate...nope..somebody gonna have to shoot me...or something beyond MY control. I feel my body got in this condition because of the neglect I put it thru. HORRIBLE eating patterns....drinking...no exercise.....drugs... Just total abuse. Quit smoking 9 years ago and took up obese eating instead...and I do mean nonstop. If I quit eating I would want a cigarette...so I just kept eating. I got so bad I was eating stuff like raw cake mix..omg! How horrible. Well, I put on 125 pounds. Went from a size 7 to a size 26. What a hog...lol...for real! My gut got so fat I could not even bend over to tie my own shoes. That is just...not right. Then I was told I would never be cured from this fate I put myself in. They would just treat me and basically see how long I could endure. Well, almost a year later... I FEEL I AM WINNING!!! I agree with you Phil....I was misinformed... I agree with you too John... I NOW control what goes in my body. I have done a 180 to protect my body from bad judgement...so I can protect ME from nasty ugly cancer cells to thrive in ME. Since I am now off all chemo drugs I have started with a few supplements...I take a LOT of advise from all of you healthy eaters here on the board.... I also have looked into the herbs... I am just starting with gluten free, organic stuff....just all kinds of things..like the modified citris pectin...food is just not as important to me anymore as it once was. I centered my life around it as I previously did my smoking. I have lost almost 80 pounds now. Went from a size 26 to a size 15 and still losing. I got about 50 more pounds to go and I gotta tell ya.... I am starting to feel GREAT! I am walking my dogs 2-3 times a day. SOOOOO...poop on those that told me I was TERMINAL...... I am what I am .....ALIVE...and HAPPY! Thank you all so much for being with me this past year of my LIFE. I am so blessed. Happy Easter to you all!


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"I feel my body got in this condition because of the neglect I
put it thru. HORRIBLE eating patterns....drinking...no
exercise.....drugs... Just total abuse. "


Cancer occurs in the finest of people with the finest and healthiest
of diets, and who have never smoked or abused alcohol.... And they
got cancer.

And then.... there are alcoholics, people who ate fast food 24/7/365,
don't sleep, don't exercise, and abuse drugs or all types, and they
never see cancer at all.

So as soon as you get a chance between whipping yourself,
drop the whip for a moment and repeat after me:
"I had nothing to do with the cancer that has grown inside me".


The idea that we should eat well, is to provide our immune
system to have what it needs to do battle.

The problem may be, however, that our own immune system isn't
seeing that erred cell as an "intruder". It is, after all, just a normal cell
that's been damaged and attempting to live on it's own. For some
reason, our immune system ignores it, and it continues to grow.

Once we manage to get rid of the tumor, and a good amount of
those erred cells, our immune system sometimes kicks into action
and begin to see those cells as something to get rid of.

That's why you'd want to give your immune system the very best\
chance to work.

But please don't think that you could have prevented it from
happening, because that's not the way it works.

The cells were damaged, and they turned to fermentation to survive,
but once the immune system recognizes what a cancer cell is
and has the strength to do it's job, you'll be rid of cancer problems.

Pretty simple, huh?

Ask your Onco why they don't have a chemotherapy drug that
also helps the immune system, instead of killing it.

Think healthy!


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

attitude can have in conjunction with whatever treatment you are also undergoing......steve

PS: John, are you familiar with nanotechnology in the batttle against cancer?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

There's a good article here:

To summarize:
(It) "uses polymeric nanoparticles coated with aptamers —
RNA-based targeting moieties — to guide them towards the tumour,
where they bind, enter the cells and then dissolve to spill out
their contents — the anticancer drug docetaxel. The nanoparticles
are also coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to aid their safe
passage through the bloodstream and into the tumour cells."

"One of the key challenges in creating effective nanoparticles is
targeting them to appropriate tissues and cells. Although
biological targeting using aptamers or antibodies on the surface
of nanoparticles is one popular option, other researchers are
beginning to exploit the physical characteristics of the
particles to guide them to desired locations. "The size, shape,
physical properties, density and charge all affect how particles
travel through the body, and whether or not they will cross
biological membranes," says Mauro Ferrari, a professor of
nanotechnology at the University of Texas Health Science Center,
the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Rice University in Houston,
USA. His work shows that biological barriers such as the vascular
wall dominate the distribution of injected nanoparticles in the
body, even for particles that are decorated with exquisite
biological recognition moieties. A judicious choice of size and
shape of a nanovector particle can enhance by orders of magnitude
the amount of drug delivered to the target lesion site. "


Basically, it's another means to get a toxic, carcinogenic chemical
into a cancer cell, without killing as many normal cells trying to do it.

Ok, ok, I know that sounded crass, and opinionated, but I would
much prefer that they spend ("we're spending about US$35–40
million a year on these approaches"
) their 35-40 mil finding out
how to get our own immune system to do the job it was intended
to do; why it fails to at times.

They are aware that there are herbs that have been used for thousands
of years, that keep cancer cells from getting what they need to survive
inside our body. Instead of exploring that path, they continue to throw
millions upon millions at an industry that attempts to use the same
toxic chemicals year after year, changing perhaps, the way it's

Now they'll try administering the chemo via "teenie robots".

I don't know about anyone else, but I am really, really fed up with
the lack of progress, and the continual denial that there might be
a better way to attack cancer cells than what they've been using
for decades.

But alas..... doing that would mean a crimp in the cash flow.

I am in an ornery mood this evening, maybe it's herbal brain
or sumptin...

If I insulted anyone, I am sorry; It is only -my- opinion here.

Good/better health to all!


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

a whole collection of articles i printed off laptop that summarize research about to be published. It seems every week another team of scientists adds to this approach in the war on cancer . I'm of the opinion that nanotechnology can be potentially enormous.....steve

If its warm by you, get outdoors if you can, it'll do you good!!!!!!

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Thank you for that!


AND.......... Even tho I feel I did contribute to the monster... i KNOW....for a fact...that my positive attitude...my denial to lose... got me thru my hardest times. I am now fighting with a different type of tool.... my INFORMED intelligence. ALL of you have attributed to this wealth of information. I value EVERYONE's opinion. Even if is not one I have ever thought of...that is the point...PLEASE continue to open my eyes.... I love to pick your brains... Luv ya'll


Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Now that is what I call a fantastic attitude!!!!

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

the body's own immune systenm but thats why cancer is so successful because it eludes our immune system. Nanoparticles that can distinguish cancerous from healthy cells and then deliver a microdose of chemo only to the cancerous cells will/should reduce collaterel damage to healthy cells and perhaps eliminate other side effects. I don't think its so much that our immune system failed as it is that the cancer can evade it, but I'm no scientist or doctor. My choice to go with treatment as I did was that at time of Dx I was too scared to consider anything else.

The end goal of everyone here I think is the same, whatever route we take and that is to do our utmost to beat the sheit out of this thing called cancer......It deserves no mercy as it sure as hell aint shown me none!!!!!steve

and Kerry,one must be relentless; get knocked down for a while....get back up again.....

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