Get access to websites and references to books, articles and other resources on dealing with metastatic breast cancer

To get contacts to provide counselling and advice CALL THE CANCER INFORMATION SERVICE 13 11 20
Read stories by and about women who have metastatic breast cancer
Guide for women with metastatic breast cancer
View a copy of the publication 'Guide for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer'.



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Metastatic breast cancer

This section provides information and support for women:

  • whose cancer has come back in another part of the body other than the breast; and
  • who have been told there is little chance of a cure.

Cancer which has spread to another part of your body is known as a metastasis or secondary deposit. The most common places for the cancer to spread are your skin, bones, lung and liver.

Women whose cancer has come back in the breast where it originally occurred or in the other breast should refer to the section I have been diagnosed, unless the specialist has advised you that the cancer has spread to another part of your body.

Women who have metastatic breast cancer can live for some time. The average survival is around two years, but some people live a lot longer than this. What will be important is to be have a good quality of life for this time, to extend life where possible and desired by the patient and to support as normal a life as possible. Many women prefer to have treatment for pain only, as they would prefer to have quality over length of life. Others are keen to live as long as possible.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation funded a research project by Dr David Hill from the Cancer Council Victoria to identify the needs of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

This research project was then used by the National Breast Cancer Centre to inform the development of guidelines for both health professionals and consumers in the management of women with metastatic breast cancer.

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