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Quality of Life – Metastatic Breast Cancer

What is quality of life?

“Quality of life” describes your overall well-being, including:

  • Emotional and physical health
  • Ability to perform daily roles
  • Sexuality and intimacy
  • Pain, fatigue and other side effects of treatment or the breast cancer itself

Non-health related issues (such as financial concerns) are also part of quality of life.

Learn about financial assistance, insurance and other financial issues.

Quality of life issues

Although important for everyone with breast cancer, quality of life issues are especially important for people with metastatic breast cancer.

Managing side effects and other issues that affect your quality of life is a main part of your care. You should never feel you have to endure pain or other side effects.

Talk with your health care provider about any issues affecting your quality of life.

Learn about:

After treatment for breast cancer ends

At some point, you may decide to stop active treatments for the cancer. This can happen when treatment stops showing any benefit or when it greatly affects your quality of life.

Once treatment is stopped, reducing pain and other side effects becomes the main focus of care, rather than just a part of treatment.

This can be a very difficult time. Your health care provider or hospital can arrange for counseling or a support group.

Hospice can make this later stage of care as comfortable as possible.

Learn about support groups, hospice and other types of support.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website has information on end-of-life planning and care, including questions to ask your health care provider.

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a guide for patients and their families to help make decisions on end-of-life care.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636). All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group – Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each other’s experiences and build strong relationships to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for “Komen Breast Cancer group” to request to join the closed group.
  • Komen Affiliates offer breast health education and some fund breast cancer programs through local community organizations. Your local Affiliate may also help you find breast cancer resources in your area. Find your local Affiliate and a list of Affiliate events focused on metastatic breast cancer
  • Our Family and Friends section has detailed information and resources for loved ones.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Learn more about what Komen is doing to help people with metastatic breast cancer.