Fast Five Quiz: Metastatic Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD; Winston W. Tan, MD, FACP; Stefania Morganti, MD


December 21, 2022

Breast cancer is both the most frequently diagnosed life-threatening cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide, with approximately 2.3 million new diagnoses and 685,000 deaths reported in 2020. In the United States, it is estimated that 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and 43,250 women will die of breast cancer in 2022. Mortality from breast cancer is highly dependent on stage at diagnosis, with 5-year relative survival rate ranging from > 99% for patients with stage I disease, to 93% for stage II, to 29% for patients with metastatic disease.

Despite advances in adjuvant treatment strategies, many patients with early breast cancer still experience disease recurrence after primary therapy, and approximately 6% of patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease at presentation. Given its systemic nature and inevitable resistance to therapy, metastatic breast cancer is largely incurable.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 2022 guidelines recommend that metastatic disease at presentation or first recurrence of disease should be biopsied to confirm diagnosis and to identify biomarkers for treatment decisions. Clinical presentation of metastatic breast cancer (signs and symptoms) vary depending on the sites of metastatic spread.

Are you able to correctly identify signs and symptoms associated with breast cancer metastasis? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.


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