If My Breast Cancer Returns Elsewhere, How Long Do I Stay On Treatment?

Question: If my breast cancer comes back in organs outside of the breast, how long do I stay on treatment?

Answer: If the breast cancer recurs in organs outside the breast, then most likely some treatment will be necessary for an indefinite period of time. That's the case for any chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension. People need to continue on their medications for those conditions as long as they live. The same is likely true for breast cancer. And depending upon the characteristics of the disease, one may need to continue treatment or alternate treatment with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or immunotherapy. And the treatment sequence will really depend upon the individual patient and the characteristics of their tumor.

Next: How can I evaluate the information about breast cancer that I find on the Internet?

Joseph Sparano, MD

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