When and where do breast cancer recurrences occur?

Breast cancer can recur at any time, from months to years after initial treatment. Breast cancer can come back as a local recurrence (in the treated breast or near the mastectomy scar), regional recurrence (in the lymph nodes or collar bone area on the affected side) or as a distant recurrence somewhere else in the body. The most common sites of recurrence include the lymph nodes, the bones, liver, or lungs.