In the past decade there has been interest as to whether or not resection of the primary tumor improves survival in metastatic breast cancer. There have been multiple retrospective reviews addressing this question. The retrospective data seem to suggest that there is a survival advantage with resection of the primary tumor. However, these reviews are not without bias. In this review, we will address the biases present in the retrospective data and the potential harm in offering surgery to women with metastatic breast cancer, as well as the ongoing randomized clinical trials to answer this question.
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