Local recurrence v. distant recurrence (metastasis)
- Local recurrence of cancer is found in a similar place as the first, usually during a mammogram or physical exam.
- Many recurrences are limited to the breast, and can be surgically removed.
- Distant recurrences of cancer occur in a different part of the body, and are known as metastases.
- Metastasis is usually found when symptoms are reported through follow-up visits.
Recurrence is less likely to occur if:
- there were few or no cancerous lymph nodes during surgery
- breast cancer found early and was small
- adjuvant therapy (chemotherapy or hormone therapy) was given along with surgery.