Cancer Survivors at Risk for Relapse
Reported August 18, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — A new study cautions breast cancer survivors to remain on guard. Results reveal survivors of breast cancer are at substantial risk of recurrence even 15 years after their first diagnosis.
Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston examined recurrence rates in almost 3,000 breast cancer patients. They found among breast cancer patients who were cancer-free five years after starting therapy, 89 percent remained recurrence-free 10 years after diagnosis and 80 percent after 15 years.
Results also show the five-year risk of recurrence for stage 1 breast cancer patients was 7 percent; for stage 2 patients, 11 percent; and for stage 3 patients, 13 percent.
Other important findings show breast cancer patients who receive chemotherapy, hormone therapy or both, in addition to surgery, have a better chance of staying recurrence-free than women who dont. Other factors that influence risk of recurrence are tumor grade, hormone receptor status and receiving endocrine therapy.
SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, published online August 11, 2008