For any type of cancer there are 4 stages (in ascending order of severity) that assess the extent of the disease. Knowing the stage of disease is important to provide the most appropriate care for the sick, as well as to form a reasonably prognosis.
Stages one and two are considered early. The tumor is limited and the prognosis, especially if there is no lymph node involvement, is often positive. Stages III and IV are considered advanced and the prognosis is usually poor. The disease has spread to other organs and usually turns out to be more aggressive and resistant to treatment. The tumor, at this point, having made metastases, must be attacked in a systemic way.
As a result of this surgery is often not valid clinical indication and therapy is usually represented by the most appropriate chemotherapy for the initial treatment (1 st line) and molecular targeted drugs for the next treatment (2nd line), possibly more cycles of radiotherapy.
In advanced disease, these therapies, while having systemic action, like acting on the whole body, no longer aims to heal, but they are designed to increase survival by limiting the possible symptoms of the disease and the patient's pain (objective cure / palliative) . With a few exceptions represented by tumors with low-grade malignancies (eg testicular cancer), the finding with advanced neoplasia III or stage IV for which you can only groped to slow down the development, is living with the situation more dramatic for a patient with cancer (and its expensive).
It's a terrible psychological situation: it feels condemned to death. They are negative thoughts like, "maybe I'll die in a few months", "maybe the disease progresses I will try to short to unbearable pain", "what will the lives of my loved ones be without me", and other conflicting thoughts which a natural instinct for survival leads in any case to entertain hopes of "maybe if I can survive for some years, then I can count on a new cure", "maybe I can get into some new experimental protocol", "maybe there is a Unofficial miraculous cure ".
My mother died of cancer that is the reason why this information is very dear to my heart.
Maybe you also know people of you have dear ones that have left you due to this serious illness.
Still there is always hope. Research is evolving each an every day. Be confident and have faith. Alternatives cures for cancer may be the way.