When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it’s called secondary breast cancer – sometimes called metastatic breast cancer or advanced breast cancer. Common places where breast cancer cells can move to and grow include the bone, liver, lung and brain.
Whilst secondary breast cancer can be treatable, it’s not curable and almost all of the 11,500 women that die as a result of breast cancer each year in the UK will have seen their cancer spread.
These are stark facts but at Breast Cancer Now we believe that by 2050, everyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer will live – and live well.
So today, for Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day (Saturday 13 October) here are some things you can do to help raise awareness, improve the lives of people living with this disease and stop secondary breast cancer taking lives.
We’ve seen from surveys that many people still don’t know what secondary breast cancer is. If you want to help your friends, family or colleagues to understand secondary breast cancer, why not share our video below?
If you want to find out more about secondary breast cancer so that you can raise awareness, read our guide.
Tell your story
If secondary breast cancer has affected your life, act now and join our #55000Reasons campaign.
The real experiences of the 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK – and their family and friends – represent real reasons why politicians should invest in breast cancer services.
Tell us your story and we will share it with the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to make sure breast cancer services get the funding they need from NHS England to extend lives.
Campaign with us
Women with HER 2-positive secondary breast cancer in Scotland are being cruelly denied more time to live, because they can’t get a drug called Perjeta.
It offers nearly 16 extra months of life on average compared to other treatments, but at present only women in England and Wales can get it routinely on the NHS.
We’re petitioning for manufacturer Roche, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to secure a deal to make Perjeta available to breast cancer patients in Scotland.
Support our research into secondary breast cancer
At Breast Cancer Now, we believe that by 2050 breast cancer will have taken its last life. But we can only make this a reality with your support.
We want to focus on understanding the biology of the disease and how to effectively tackle it, as well as improving treatments and ensuring a better quality of life for those living with secondary breast cancer.
We fund around half of all projects in the UK focused on understanding how and why breast cancer spreads and becomes incurable. That puts us among the top funders of secondary breast cancer research in the UK.
We desperately need your help to make progress faster. You can donate now to help us continue tackling secondary breast cancer together.