What Can Be Done If My Breast Cancer Returns In Other Organs? How Long Can I Live If My Cancer Comes Back In Other Organs?

Question: What can be done if my breast cancer comes back in other organs? How long can I live if my breast cancer comes back in other organs?

Answer: There are many treatment options for a woman who has a recurrence of their breast cancer in other organs of the body other than the breast. These options include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and in some cases surgery.

In addition, there's a whole new portfolio of drugs that are not chemotherapeutic agents that are called targeted therapies -- that is, they're directed at a very specific molecular target of the cancer cell. And there are a whole host of promising new agents available. The average life expectancy for someone who has a recurrence of breast cancer is in the range of approximately two years. A small portion of patients can survive for about five years.

Joseph Sparano, MD
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