Up to 10% of patients with breast cancer will present with metastatic disease; patients with visceral metastases have a poor prognosis but patients with the more frequent bone metastases have a median survival of 2 years. Resection of the primary tumour to achieve loco-regional control may improve patients' quality of life, preventing fungation or uncontrolled axillary metastases.
Patients with colorectal cancer are increasingly staged prior to surgery to determine the most appropriate therapy. In those in whom unresectable liver metastases are identified, primary tumour resection should still be considered to minimize the risk of bleeding, perforation, or obstruction, which may subsequently occur.
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