Routine monitoring for metastatic breast cancer may include blood tests. Here is what to know about why doctors use these tests and what the results mean.

When breast cancer spreads beyond the breasts and nearby lymph nodes, it is known as metastatic breast cancer. This is the most advanced stage of breast cancer and can affect the health of other organs in the body, including the bones, lungs, and brain.

A person with metastatic breast cancer may undergo many types of testing to monitor their disease. Doctors may perform a variety of tests, including imaging and tumor biopsies. Blood tests can also provide oncology care teams with various important information.