What makes breast cancer more likely to come back or spread?
Early breast cancer can be treated successfully.
For most women, breast cancer will not come back or spread after treatment.Sometimes breast cancer is found later in the same breast or in other parts of the body. Everyone is different and there is no way of telling for sure whether breast cancer will or will not come back.
Doctors use the information in the pathology report to work out how likely it is that breast cancer will come back or spread to other parts of the body.
Features that can affect the chance of breast cancer coming back or spreading after treatment
These are general statements based on experience with women who have had breast cancer.
|Information in the pathology report||The breast cancer is less likely to come back or spread if:||The breast cancer is more likely to come back or spread if:|
|Size<||Cancer is smaller (< 2 cm)||Cancer is larger (>2 cm)|
|Lymph nodes in the armpit||No cancer cells in the lymph nodes||Cancer cells in the lymph nodes|
|Hormone receptors||Cancer cells have hormone receptors (and the woman has hormonal therapy)||Cancer cells do not have hormone receptors|
|HER2 status||Cancer cells are HER2-negative||Cancer cells are HER2-positive|
|Grade||Grade of cancer is low (Grade 1)||Grade of cancer is high (Grade 3)|
|Surgical margin||Surgical margin is clear||Surgical margin is not clear|