Breast cancer

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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:

  • muscles on the chest
  • the skin on the breast
  • bones (usually the spine, ribs or legs)
  • the liver
  • the lungs
  • the brain

Stories

Canadian Cancer Trials Group researcher Dr Wendy Parulekar The Canadian Cancer Trials Group found that extending hormone therapy keeps breast cancer at bay.

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Access to services in your community

Illustration of houses side-by-side

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Community Services Locator helps cancer patients and their families find the services and programs they need in their community.

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