Despite advances in breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment, nearly 12% of patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer eventually develop metastatic disease, or breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. No cure for metastatic breast cancer yet exists, and it is associated with a poor prognosis: The 5-year survival rate is 26%. Nevertheless, many treatments can improve and extend the lives of patients with metastatic breast cancer. This article reviews the types of breast cancer and cancer staging systems. It also discusses the molecular subtypes of breast cancer, symptoms of metastatic breast cancer, and current treatments for the disease.
©2017 American Society of Radiologic Technologists.