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Fear of cancer progression

Metastatic breast cancer and fear of cancer progression

Feeling anxious and frightened about breast cancer spreading further is common for people who have metastatic breast cancer. Many people worry what will happen if their treatment needs to change or what treatment options will be available to them if their cancer spreads. These anxieties and fears are called fear of cancer progression.

If you have early breast cancer, you may worry about your cancer returning. These fears are called fear of cancer recurrence

While metastatic breast cancer may not go away completely, treatment may control it for a long time, sometimes many years. If one treatment stops working, there is usually another to try. New treatments are being developed and tested all the time.

While fear of cancer progressing may never fade, there are ways to manage it. BCNA has developed a series of videos to assist women to manage fear of cancer progression.

Living with metastatic breast cancer

Living with metastatic breast cancer brings many challenges. While fear and anxiety of what the future may hold is a reality for many people there are ways to manage this fear and live well.

In this video, Gillian shares:

  • the reality of being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
  • how she copes with disease progression
  • the strategies she has used to manage anxiety
  • the support that has helped her to continue to live well.

Advice from health professionals

We asked a leading health professional to share some information about fear of cancer progression and some things you might like to try to help you deal with it.

Professor Fran Boyle AM is a medical oncologist with more than 20 years’ experience caring for women with metastatic breast cancer.

Click here to watch her advice.

Connect with others who understand

It can be difficult to find someone to talk to about what it is like to live with metastatic breast cancer. If you would like to share your thoughts and feelings with others in a similar situation to you, or to let us know what you think of  these videos, join the conversation on the online network.

Support from BCNA's Helpline

For free and confidential information, support and referral about fear of progression, call BCNA’s Helpline on 1800 500 258.

Our Helpline is open for calls between 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9.00 am - 9.00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.