The main aim of treatment for advanced breast cancer is to improve symptoms and therefore quality of life. By slowing the growth of, or shrinking your tumors, treatment may allow you to live for longer and feel better.

You may have various single or combined treatments one after the other to keep your cancer under control. In between treatments, women often find they can get on with their day-to-day life.

Your cancer doctor (oncologist) and specialist breast cancer nurse will involve you in treatment decisions. They will support you and, if needed, they can refer you for more specialised help in coping with your day-to-day activities and emotions. (Find out more about questions to ask and discussing treatment options with your doctor).

We’ve put together this guide to treatment options currently available in New Zealand. (Find out more about treatment options not currently funded in NZ). This guide covers the following areas:

  • Planning treatment with your medical support team
  • Treatment options
    • Anticancer drug therapy
      • Anti-hormone/endocrine therapy
      • Targeted therapy
      • Chemotherapy
    • Radiotherapy
    • Surgery
    • Other medicines to help manage symptoms
  • Palliative care
  • Wellbeing options
  • Research – clinical trials

Download the guide to treatment options for advanced breast cancer