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Treatment of metastatic breast cancer in older women

Gretchen Kimmick, MD, MS
Section Editor
Daniel F Hayes, MD
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD


Despite advances in primary and adjuvant treatment for local breast cancer, many patients will experience metastatic disease. In addition, 1 to 5 percent of women with breast cancer have metastatic disease at presentation. Although patients with metastatic breast cancer are unlikely to be cured of their disease, survival has improved over time due to improved options for treatment. As an example, compared with women treated from 1991 to 1992, those treated from 1999 to 2001 had a statistically longer survival (median, 22 versus 15 months) [1].

This topic will address issues pertinent to systemic antitumor treatment in older women (typically defined as age >65 years) with metastatic breast cancer. General principles that guide treatment of metastatic breast cancer in all populations, as well as more extensive discussions of endocrine therapy and chemotherapy for metastatic disease, are discussed in detail elsewhere.

(See "Systemic treatment for metastatic breast cancer: General principles".)

(See "Treatment approach to metastatic hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer: Endocrine therapy".)

(See "Systemic treatment of metastatic breast cancer in women: Chemotherapy".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 20, 2017.
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