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Features that can affect the chance of breast cancer coming back or spreading after treatment

These are general statements based on experience with women who have had breast cancer.


Information in the pathology report

The breast cancer is less likely to come back or spread if:

The breast cancer is more likely to come back or spread if:


Cancer is smaller (< 2 cm)

Cancer is larger (>2 cm)

Lymph nodes in the armpit

No cancer cells in the lymph nodes

Cancer cells in the lymph nodes

Hormone receptors

Cancer cells have hormone receptors (and the woman has hormonal therapy)

Cancer cells do not have hormone receptors

HER2 status

Cancer cells are HER2-negative

Cancer cells are HER2-positive


Grade of cancer is low (Grade 1)

Grade of cancer is high (Grade 3)

Surgical margin

Surgical margin is clear

Surgical margin is not clear

If one or more of the things listed in the ‘more likely’ column apply, it does not necessarily mean that breast cancer will come back or spread after treatment.