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Survival has improved for women with stage IV breast cancer

December 2015

Over the past few decades, as breast cancer has increasingly been treated as a systemic disease, the number of surgeries performed on the most serious cases has plummeted. With better drugs and radiation techniques available, the proportion of women with Stage 4 breast cancer who had surgery dropped from 67.8 percent in 1988 to 25.1 percent in 2011, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Surgery.

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