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  • Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. As with any type of cancer, metastatic breast cancer is considered malignant.

    Definition

    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), malignant means "cancerous." Metastasis means the cancer cells have spread to distant areas of the body from the primary site through the lymph nodes or blood stream.

    Significance

    With metastatic breast cancer, the malignant tumors have spread through the blood stream or lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the brain, liver or bones.

    Tests

    There are multiple tests to determine how far metastatic breast cancer has spread. These include chest x-rays, mammograms, bone scans, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and PET scans.

    Expert Insight

    Metastatic breast cancer is considered stage four breast cancer, per BreastCancer.org. This organization also defines breast cancer as a malignant tumor that has formed from cells in the breast.

    Statistics

    The ACS claims the five-year survival rate of a woman with metastatic breast cancer is 20 percent. This means that 20 percent of women at this stage will live for at least five years.

    Source:

    American Cancer Society: Glossary Search: Malignant Tumor

    Breastcancer.org: What Is Breast Cancer?

    American Cancer Society: Survival Rates for Breast Cancer

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