If breast cancer spreads
Cancer cells can spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.
Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care.
If breast cancer spreads, it usually spreads to regional lymph nodes. These are lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the tumour in the following areas:
- under the arm
- around the collarbone
- around the breastbone
Breast cancer can also spread to:
American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer. 2015: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/index.
Foxson SB, Lattimer JG & Felder B . Breast cancer. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2011: 48: pp. 1091-1145.
Morrow M, Burstein HJ, and Harris JR . Malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 79: 1117-1156.