- does not have receptors for oestrogen (ER negative breast cancer)
- is HER2 positive and ER negative
- is triple negative
- has spread to the liver or lungs
- is growing quickly.
If the cancer has HER2 receptors you usually have a targeted therapy drug with chemotherapy.
Sometimes, a type of chemotherapy called electrochemotherapy is used when secondary breast cancer has spread to the skin.
Your cancer doctor or nurse will explain which drug, or drugs, are likely to be most helpful in your situation. You may have a single drug or a combination of drugs together.
Chemotherapy drugs used to treat secondary breast cancer include:
- capecitabine (Xeloda®)
- docetaxel (Taxotere®)
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin®)
- epirubicin (Pharmorubicin®)
- gemcitabine (Gemzar®)
- paclitaxel (Taxol®)
- eribulin (Halaven®)
- vinorelbine (Navelbine®).
The drugs you have depend on any previous chemotherapy you had. If you have not had an anthracycline drug, such as doxorubicin or epirubicin, you may have one of these. If it has been a long time since you had either drug, your doctor may suggest having it again. If you have already had an anthracycline drug, you may have docetaxel.