3 November 2021

Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Around 1,000 women in the UK die each month from incurable secondary (metastatic) breast cancer. We desperately need to learn more about this devastating disease so that we can find new ways to improve treatment, care and support for people living with it, and for those living in fear of a diagnosis.

“We don't currently know who will develop secondary breast cancer and when, but this new analysis of existing studies provides helpful insight into who is most at risk. The data shows that people diagnosed with primary breast cancer aged 35 years or younger have the greatest chance of developing secondary breast cancer. The study also highlights that the size of the tumour, the type of breast cancer and the length of time since primary diagnosis can impact a person’s risk. 

“Secondary breast cancer can develop many years after an initial cancer diagnosis, so it’s vital that we understand it better and find new ways to prevent it. The lack of information on people living with secondary breast cancer must urgently be addressed to ensure each individual’s needs are met, and so that we can identify the key factors that influence someone's chances of developing the disease.

“Anyone who is concerned about breast cancer can call Breast Cancer Now’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000 to talk to one of our expert nurses.”

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