Women diagnosed and treated for secondary (metastatic) breast cancer face many of the same issues as those treated for early breast cancer. However, there can be a number of additional emotional, physical and practical challenges. Issues include managing symptoms of secondary breast cancer and its treatment, adjusting to living with secondary breast cancer and coping with concerns about facing an uncertain future.
Many women find that their diagnosis gives them a new perspective on life and makes them rethink what is important to them. For some women, the experience of being diagnosed and treated for secondary breast cancer provides opportunities they wouldn’t have considered before their diagnosis. It’s not always easy, but many women find that with time they are able to adjust to their diagnosis and get pleasure from the things that are important to them.
Some of the more general physical, emotional and practical issues faced by women living with breast cancer are described elsewhere on this site. This section describes some of the physical, emotional and practical challenges faced by women for whom breast cancer has come back or spread to other parts of the body.
Find out more about:
- Physical issues when breast cancer has spread
- Feelings when breast cancer has spread
- Practical issues when breast cancer has spread
- Stopping treatment: things to consider
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) has a free resource for women with secondary breast cancer called 'Hopes & Hurdles'. Visit BCNA for more information.