What does it mean if my breast cancer has “spread”?

Dede Bonner
Health Education

A critical question about cancer is whether or not it has spread to other organs in your body. Cancer starts when cells begin to divide uncontrollably. Eventually, these cells form a visible mass, or tumor. This initial tumor is called the primary tumor.

Cells from the primary tumor can break off and lodge elsewhere in the body, where they then grow into secondary tumors. This process is called metastasis, which means that the cancer has spread.

The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

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The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

A good mind knows the right answers...but a great mind knows the right questions. And never are the Best Questions more important than after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Drawing on cutting-edge...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.