Secondary breast cancer

Secondary breast cancer is cancer which firstly started growing in the breast and has moved or spread to another parts of the body. You may hear the word metastases or metastatic breast cancer; this is just another name for secondary breast cancer. 

The most common places that breast cancer spreads to are the bones, the liver, the lungs or the brain. Secondary breast cancer can also affect the lymph nodes also called lymph glands. The glands most commonly affected are those in the underarm also called the axilla, the neck, or the chest area. 

Every patient is considered as an individual and will be fully assessed and their treatment planned according to which areas of the body where the disease has affected. The aim of treatment is control of disease and to maintain a good quality of life. There are many treatments available and women can be having treatment for many years, remaining active and well. Although we refer to women, men can also have secondary breast cancer and have similar treatments. 

For more information on Invasive ductal breast cancer, see our Understanding Secondary Breast Cancer booklet.

Date Last Reviewed: 
Saturday, January 19, 2019