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Recurrent Breast Cancer and Treatment

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Recurrent Breast Cancer and Treatment  

What is the difference between breast cancer and recurrent breast cancer? How do the treatments differ?

Recurrent breast cancer is breast cancer that has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. Breast cancer may recur either in the breast, in the soft tissues of the chest (the chest wall), or in another part of the body.

All of the factors that help determine the treatment of first-time breast cancer are also considered when choosing a treatment course for recurrent breast cancers hormone receptor status, stage and grade of cancer, etc. However, there are some additional factors that need to be considered with recurrent breast cancer, including:

  • Age, health, and menopausal status of the patient at the time of recurrence

  • The kind of treatment the patient had before

  • The length of time from the first treatment to when the cancer recurred

  • Treatment may be one of the following:

  • Tamoxifen therapy

  • Other types of hormone therapy

  • Surgery and/or radiation therapy (for the small group of patients whose cancer has come back only in one place in the body)
  • Combination chemotherapy

  • Treatment with the chemotherapeutic drug, Abraxane (albumin-bound paclitaxel)

  • Re-treatment with previously used therapies

  • A clinical trial of new chemotherapy or new biologic therapy

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