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:
- a larger cancer at the first diagnosis
- if the cancer was found in the lymph nodes
- if the cancer was hormone receptor negative
- if the grade of the cancer was high
- if the surgical margin was not clear.
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.