• Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Prognosis of metastatic breast cancer depends factors such as how advanced the primary cancer was when first diagnosed, and how far it has spread from the initial tumor. Half of all breast cancers metastasize, according to Cancer Monthly.


    Poorer prognoses await patients diagnosed at younger ages, especially those in their 20s and 30s, compared to those in middle age. Worse outcomes are also associated with having a larger or higher-grade primary tumor, says the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.

    Overall Survival Rate

    The median survival rate for any metastatic breast cancer is two years, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and it's considered incurable. However, newer drug treatments and better diagnostic techniques improve odds of survival.

    Distant Metastasis

    For metastatic breast cancer that has spread far from the original tumor site, not just to nearby lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 14 percent, according to Cancer Monthly.


    Prompt treatment of metastatic breast cancer extends survival by an average of six months or longer, reports Cancer Monthly.


    While statistics can be daunting, patients should remember that every woman's particular case is unique. While two years is a median survival time, living much longer is also possible, the ASCO says.


    Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: Breast Cancer

    Cancer Monthly: Breast Cancer Staging

    American Society of Clinical Oncology: Prognostic Factors for Survival of Metastatic Breast Cancer

    • Alice Haven

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