What does De Novo Mean?

Sometimes people are found to have metastatic breast cancer when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer. This means that the previously undiagnosed breast cancer cells have spread to the other parts of the body such as the bones, lungs or liver. This is referred to as ‘de novo’ metastatic breast cancer, meaning the breast cancer is metastatic from the start. This is not common – about one in 20 women diagnosed with breast cancer will have metastatic breast cancer from the start.