If you have been diagnosed with recurrent cancer, it means the disease has returned in spite of the initial treatment. Even though the tumor in your breast seemed to have been completely removed or destroyed, the disease sometimes returns because undetected cancer cells remained in the area after you were treated, or because the disease had already spread before treatment. Most recurrence will appear within the first two or three years after you have been treated for breast cancer. However, breast cancer can recur many years later.
If the cancer returns only to the area on which you originally had surgery, it is called a local recurrence. If the disease returns to another part of your body, it is called metastatic breast cancer.
Your treatment for recurring cancer may involve one type of treatment or a combination of treatments.
When Your Cancer Comes Back- The American Cancer Society
Metastatic Cancer Factsheet- National Cancer Institute
What is Metastatic Cancer?- American Cancer Society