Moments That Count has been developed and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited and is intended for a UK general public audience.

The priority when treating early breast cancer is to try to minimise the risk of it returning, and although treatments have improved in recent decades, many patients still experience recurrence years or sometimes months after primary breast cancer.1

About breast cancer recurrence:

Breast cancer recurrence can either be local (cancer which comes back in the same breast), regional (cancer which comes back in the nearby lymph nodes) or distant (cancer which has spread to distant parts of the body and become metastatic, advanced or secondary).2

With that in mind, here are some tips to help minimise your risk of recurrence after achieving remission:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.3
  • Continue taking your adjuvant therapy if one has been prescribed to you.4
  • Keep in close contact with your healthcare team and share any challenges you might face in 'getting back to normal'.4
  • Ask your healthcare team about the latest developments in breast cancer and have proactive conversations with them about your specific risk or recurrence and the best treatment for you to reduce your risk of recurrence.4


Some common myths about breast cancer:

shield icon

If caught and treated early, breast cancer will not come back. Patients are “cured” after “ringing the bell”

Breast cancer can return even decades after initial diagnosis. Treatment options, like adjuvant therapy, may help reduce this risk.5

time icon

Age 50 and younger is too young for breast cancer

Yes, breast cancer typically occurs in older women, but breast cancer diagnoses in younger people are increasing worldwide.6,7,8

woman icon

Only women can get breast cancer

While breast cancer is more prevalent in women, both men and women can receive a diagnosis.9

You know you best

Make your next appointment count

Your healthcare team is your best resource throughout your treatment. Talk openly and often with them about your doubts, questions and concerns. We have developed a guide to support you in having these conversations with some tips to help you find the information you need.

appointment guide

You may also like...

blog post one

Crucial conversations in breast cancer

Discover how speaking openly and honestly about your needs and intimate subjects can help you on your journey.


Health coaching video series

Join Dr Alastair Duff in this short video series as he talks you through some common struggles cancer patients face.

shared decision blog image

Breast cancer diagnosis

Understand the techniques used to diagnose breast cancer, how to handle a diagnosis and discover who will make up your multidisciplinary care team.


  1. Understanding Breast Cancer Recurrence. Available online at: [Last accessed: January 2024]
  2. Breast Cancer Now. Breast cancer recurrence. Available online at: [Last accessed: December 2023]
  3. Breast Cancer Now. Diet, lifestyle and breast cancer recurrence. Available online at: [Last accessed: December 2023]
  4. Novartis. The Risk of Cancer Coming Back After a HR+/HER2- Early Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Available online at: [Last accessed: December 2023]
  5. Pan H, Gray R, Braybrooke J, et al. 20-Year risks of breast-cancer recurrence after stopping endocrine therapy at 5 years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(19):1836-1846. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1701830
  6. di Martino E, Smith L, Bradley SH, et al. Incidence trends for twelve cancers in younger adults—a rapid review. Br J Cancer. 2022;126(10):1374-1386. doi: 10.1038/s41416-022-01704-x 
  7. Breast cancer facts. Europa Donna: European Breast Cancer Coalition. Accessed March 24, 2023. 
  8. Breast cancer in young women. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accessed March 24, 2023.
  9. Cancer Research UK. Breast cancer in men. Available online at: [Last accessed: December 2023]

UK | January 2024 | 293264





Moments That Count has been developed and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited. It has been created in collaboration with secondary breast cancer patients whose knowledge and insights have informed the content and direction for the campaign.

This website is part of a programme that is funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited. Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited is a private limited liability company registered in England and Wales under number 119006. Registered office 2nd Floor, The WestWorks Building, White City Place, 195 Wood Lane, London, W12 7FQ. Use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use and the Cookies and Privacy Policy.

Reporting side-effects
If you get side effects with any medication you are taking, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the information leaflet that comes in the pack. You can report side effects via the Yellow Card Scheme at By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of your medication.

©2024 Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd - UK | January 2024 | 124182-3 This site is intended for a UK general public audience.