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

Rosemary Pedlar After seeing a Canadian Cancer Society call for volunteers in a newspaper, Rosemary knew that this was her opportunity to get started.

Read Rosemary's story

Volunteers provide comfort and kindness

Illustration of volunteers

Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.

Learn more