If breast cancer returns

For most people, early breast cancer will not come back after treatment. However, it is possible for the breast cancer to come back in the treated breast or in other parts of the body. This is called a recurrence.

Factors that may make the cancer more likely to recur include:

Having one or more of these factors doesn’t necessarily mean the cancer will come back or spread.

It is important to be ‘breast aware’, which means you regularly look at your breasts and feel them to know what is normal for you. This can help detect cancer in the other breast. Being breast aware and having regular check-ups can also help find a recurrence early so it can be treated.

You can speak to a qualified health professional at Cancer Council 13 11 20 for information about breast cancer that has returned.

This information was last reviewed in July 2016
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Life after cancer treatment
Support groups, programs and webinars for people who have finished treatment

Cancer information

Fear of the cancer coming back
How to manage your anxiety about recurrence

Your coping toolbox
Strategies for dealing with difficult situations