Advanced breast cancer means that a cancer that began in the breast has spread to another part of the body. Advanced cancer can also be called secondary cancer. The most common places for breast cancer to spread to are the lymph nodes, bone, liver, lungs and brain. The symptoms you may experience will depend on where in the body the cancer has spread to. You might not have all of the symptoms mentioned here.
Secondary breast cancer occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the first primary cancer in the breast through the lymphatic or blood system to other parts of the body. Secondary breast cancer is not the same as breast cancer recurrence. Read our information on the tests you may be offered if you have signs or symptoms of secondary breast cancer. Rebecca, Breast Cancer Now support services user.
Doctors may also refer to metastatic breast cancer as advanced breast cancer or stage 4 breast cancer. Many people live for months or years after a healthcare professional has diagnosed metastatic breast cancer. Treatment can help a person live longer and slow down the progression of the cancer.
A core needle biopsy uses a long, hollow tube to extract a sample of tissue. Here, a biopsy of a suspicious breast lump is being done. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.