CancerCare Manitoba
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As difficult as it may be to deal with an original diagnosis of breast cancer, it may be even more difficult to face a recurrence.

Not all recurrences are diagnosed as advanced disease (metastases). It is important to know what sort of recurrence you have.

If you do have metastases, be assured: advances in treatments and supports in recent years mean that individuals with metastases are living longer - and living better - than ever before.

Types of Recurrence

  • Local - a return of breast cancer to the same place in the breast (at your incision) or in the skin or underlying tissues where the breast used to be
  • Regional - a return of breast cancer to the chest wall or the lymph nodes adjacent to the breast, those under the arm (axilla) or under the chest wall and along the breastbone (internal mammary)
  • Metastases - a return of breast cancer to an internal organ (bone, lung, liver or brain) or the nodes above the collarbone (supraclavicular)

All three types of recurrence can be treated; metastases however are not curable.

Whatever your type of recurrence, there are resources and referrals to assist you with the next steps. Call or connect with Breast Cancer Centre of Hope to begin setting up your support network.

A breast cancer found in the opposite breast or in another area of the same breast is considered a new breast cancer and not a spread or recurrence of the original breast cancer.