This article reports on a consecutive series of 3627 breast cancer (BC) patients undergoing preoperative staging by chest x-ray (CXR), bone x-ray (BXR) or bone scintigraphy (BS), and liver ecography (LE) or liver scintigraphy (LS). The detection rate (DR) of preclinical asymptomatic distant metastases depended on the T and N category (TNM classification system), and was very low (CXR: 0.30%, BXR: 0.64%, BS: 0.90%, LE: 0.24%, LS: 0.23%). The sensitivity, determined after a 6-month follow-up, was below 0.50% for all tests. The highest value (0.48%) was recorded for BS, which also had the lowest specificity (0.95%). The entire preoperative staging policy using the studied tests seems questionable due to poor sensitivity and an extremely low DR of distant metastases.