Managing symptoms and side effects

The symptoms of secondary breast cancer and side effects of treatment will depend on where the cancer is and what treatments a woman is having. Symptoms might change with time. Not all symptoms are due to secondary breast cancer. Some may be the result of treatment and others may be caused by other illnesses or medical conditions. It’s important for women with secondary breast cancer to report any new symptoms or if a symptom gets worse.

Tips for reporting symptoms of secondary breast cancer

When describing a symptom, it’s important to provide as much information as possible. Some women find it helpful to keep a diary of how frequent or severe their symptoms are and how well symptoms are controlled so they can discuss this with their doctor.

Treatments are available to control and relieve symptoms of secondary breast cancer and side effects of treatment. With some symptoms and side effects, the treatment recommended may depend on the underlying cause of the symptom

Find out more about:

The following symptoms are less common but may be a sign of an underlying problem that requires medical care. If you have secondary breast cancer, it’s important to let a health professional know if you experience the following problems.

  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Breathing problems
  • Confusion or changes in thinking
  • Incontinence

Find out about other physical issues associated with a diagnosis of breast cancer.