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Metastatic or Recurrent Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer occurs when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Recurrent breast cancer occurs when breast cancer comes back after treatment.

Metastatic breast cancer

Metastatic breast cancer can be present when someone is first diagnosed with cancer. Or it may occur months to years after treatment. Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to another part of the body, like the bones, liver, or lungs.

Recurrent breast cancer

Breast cancer that comes back in the same breast or in your surgery scar is called local recurrence. Breast cancer that comes back in another part of the body, such as the lungs, is called distant recurrence. A distant recurrence may also be called metastatic cancer.

Local recurrent breast cancer can sometimes be treated with success. Distant recurrent breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer usually can't be cured. But with treatment, some people live for many years.

Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.


PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.