Initial surgery helps in metastatic breast cancer

Women presenting with stage 4 breast cancer are three times more likely to survive ten years if they have upfront surgery to remove the primary tumour, a large US study has found.

Retrospective data from over 20,000 women show improved survival over time, up from 20 months in the period 1988-1991 to 26 months in 2007-2011.

Although the rate of surgery declined over the study period,