Why does breast cancer almost always come back?

I had stage 3a estrogen positive breast cancer and so far i had a masectomy, plus 10 lymph nodes that were positive for cancer…i’m on my last round of chemo and doing very well… has anyone survived breast cancer at stage 3 that never came back or developed another cancer elsewhere? i already know it will come back someday, seems like many women who had breast cancer always developed another cancer at some time in their life…i’m 48. too bad we can’t hope that it won’t come back after treatment the first time!!

Hi char2018, I had a similar diagnosis to you Stage 3 ER+ and 9/12 lymph nodes affected.  I am now a year post-chemo and still NED.  I dont know what the future holds but I’m certainly doing everything I can to beat statistics and stay in the positive percent!  There seems to be some evidence that suggests Hormone postive has the greatest chance of improving odds through lifestyle improvement.   Here’s my story:  lifeafterlola.com

Have you joined any of the “going through treatment” threads to chat with others still in treatment?  I found this really helpful.  Best wishes. xx

Hello Char2018,


I feel like I have missed some recent research announcement - have I?  I did n’t think it was the case that everyone with stage 3a ends up with recurrence on every occasion.  I am not clear why you cannot hope that it will not come back after treatment the first time.  There’s always hope!


I was classed as stage 2.  I will always be vigilant regarding recurrence as we all should be but I don’t think it is inevitable.  I may be one of the lucky ones or I may not.  I will try and do the best I can to reduce risk by, for example, taking hormone treatment or trying to continue to follow a relatively healthy lifestyle but not at the sacrifice of all “treats”.


 Has someone told you that you will definitely get a recurrence for some reason? I do realise that there may be an increased risk of recurrence based on specific cancer characteristics etc but nothing is definite whatever stage, grade, size etc.


You sound like you have nearly finished your more active treatment and glad to hear that you are doing well. Keep hold of your positivity!  Hope your treatment  and life post active treatment continues to go well.


Very Best Wishes,


Chick X