What is advanced breast cancer?


Significant medical advances have contributed to breast cancer survival in the UK doubling in the last 40 years.1 In addition, public awareness and commitment across the country in providing research funding supports many women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

Despite this, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women diagnosed each year... that’s 150 women every day.2  Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.3

Advanced breast cancer is when the disease has recurred and/or spread from the breast to other parts of the body such as the liver, bone, lungs or brain.4 This can also be described as secondary or metastatic breast cancer.4


HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; HR+, hormone receptor-positive; PIK3CA, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha.


  1. Cancer Research UK. Breast cancer statistics. Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/breast-cancer#heading-Three (link is external) [Accessed August 2020].     
  2. Cancer Research UK. Breast cancer incidence (invasive) statistics. Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/breast-cancer#heading-Zero (link is external) [Accessed August 2020].     
  3. Cancer Research UK. Cancer mortality for common cancers. Available from: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/mortality/common-cancers-compared#heading-Zero (link is external) [Accessed August 2020].     
  4. Breast Cancer Now. Just diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. Available at: https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/secondary-metastatic-breast-cancer/secondary-breast-cancer-diagnosis (link is external) [Accessed August 2020].
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HCP20-C038 September 2020.

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