Alternative Therapy Used As Primary Treatment For Breast Cancer Negatively Impacts Outcomes
This study from Han et al was published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology in 2011, and may include some of the patients in the Chang analysis. This was a retrospective chart review of breast cancer patients who refused or delayed conventional treatments. 61 patients were identified. On average patients had Stage 2 disease at diagnosis, which is highly treatable and potentially curable. In patients that omitted or delayed surgery 96.2% had disease progression with 50% dying of the disease. At the time of diagnosis, the median tumor size was 2.0cm. Upon follow-up, the median-size was 7.8cm.
In patients that accepted surgery but rejected adjuvant therapy , the initial 10-year relapse-free survival was estimated at 59.2%, which would have been 74.3% had the patients accepted these treatments. Actual outcomes were much worse than predicted. The actual observed relapse-free survival was only 13.8%. Some subsequently elected to take palliative chemotherapy and radiation to control their disease. From this study we can conclude that refusing or delaying conventional cancer care is associated with much worse outcomes.
Understanding Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Prognosis varies by stage of breast cancer.
Non-invasive and early stage invasive breast cancers have a better prognosis than later stage cancers .
Breast cancer thats only in the breast and has not spread to the lymph nodes has a better prognosis than breast cancer thats spread to the lymph nodes.
The poorest prognosis is for metastatic breast cancer , when the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
Learn more about breast cancer treatment.
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How Cancer Risk Is Determined
Determining what is the probability of getting cancer comes from studies focusing on large groups of people, allowing researchers to identify environmental factors such as smoking for lung cancer and sunlight or skin cancer that contribute to cancer.
In cancers with more subtle risks, researchers have used observational techniques to determine what types of people develop the disease, what those people have in common, and how they differ from those who are yet to develop the disease. Cancer Risk And You
Risk statistics can be frustrating because they cannot necessarily answer the question: What are the chances of me getting cancer? Just because theres a 40 percent chance of developing cancer, it doesnt necessarily mean you are in that 40 percent.
Your risk is determined by several factors, including age, lifestyle habits, family history and genetics, and your living environment. Even then, this may not affect your chances of having cancer.
Your doctor will discuss your chances of developing cancer and propose ways to reduce the risk. However, its not a sure guarantee that you wont develop cancer at some point in your lifetime.
Chance Of Death From Breast Cancer Predictable
Racial, Age Differences Still Exist in Treatments, Outcomes
Aug. 31, 2004 — Women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 and those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer are more likely to die of the disease than any other cause, according to a newly published study from the National Cancer Institute.
Estrogen receptors on tumors tell whether the cancer grows when exposed to the hormone estrogen. Women with estrogen-receptor negative tumors — which are not affected by estrogen — were more likely than those with estrogen receptor-positive tumors to die from breast cancer.
African-American women were slightly more likely than white women to die of breast cancer.
These findings, from the most detailed analysis of breast cancer deaths ever conducted, are published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers studied data from a registry of more than 400,000 breast cancer patients diagnosed between 1973 and 2000 and calculated the chance of death from breast cancer and other causes over 28 years according to age at diagnosis, the extent of spread of the cancer, and race. The analysis also included 11 years of follow-up that included tumor size and estrogen receptor status.
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Focusing On Men With Breast Cancer
Fewer than 1% of breast cancers diagnosed each year occur in men, noted Alexandra Zimmer, M.D., of the Womens Malignancies Branch in NCIs Center for Cancer Research, who was not involved in the study.
So far, we have been mostly lumping men with breast cancer and women with breast cancer in clinical trials and evaluations, Dr. Zimmer said.
As a result, the treatment of male breast cancer has largely been based on studies involving women with the disease, she continued.
The results of this retrospective study suggest that men with breast cancer deserve dedicated studies that will help us to better understand the biology of the disease in males, Dr. Zimmer said.
Early Diagnosis Is Key
The new data illustrate the importance of early breast cancer diagnosis.
Women with a very early breast cancer condition known as breast cancer in situ had a 3% to 10% chance of dying from breast cancer within 28 years of diagnosis. The probability of death from other causes far exceeded that of breast cancer in women with breast cancer in situ.
Women with more advanced tumors still confined to the breast had a 14% to 28% chance of dying from their cancer. But women whose tumors had spread to nearby organs, tissues, or lymph nodes had a 50% chance of dying.
Women with advanced breast cancer that had spread to distant organs had a 70% to 85% chance of dying from it.
“These figures make it very clear that the earlier a woman is diagnosed, the better her prognosis, even when she is diagnosed at a young age,” Schairer says.
Estimated Number Of Deaths In The Us From Breast Cancer
The above bar chart shows the estimated number of female deaths from breast cancer, according to age group, in 2017.
These estimated figures are from the American Cancer Society based on data gathered between 2000 and 2014 from the National Center for Health Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Due to the statistical methods involved to obtain the projected mortality estimates, this graph should not be compared with other mortality rates.
Mortality Rates Versus Number Of Breast Cancer Deaths
Sometimes its useful to have an estimate of the number of people expected to die from breast cancer in a year. This numbers helps show the burden of breast cancer in a group of people.
Numbers, however, can be hard to compare to each other. To compare mortality in different populations, we need to look at mortality rates rather than the number of breast cancer deaths.
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Survival And Mortality Rates
Survival depends on mortality. You start with 100 percent of the people in the group.
100 percent mortality rate = survival rate
Say, the mortality rate in the group of people is 5 percent. Survival would be 95 percent .
Similarly, the number of people in a group who survive depends on the number of people who die. Say, 500 people are in the group and 1 person dies. This means 499 people survived .
Regular Screening Reduces Risk Of Dying From Breast Cancer
Several large studies have questioned the value of screening mammograms, including a review by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 and a study on the causes of death in the United Kingdom in 2013.
But a study using data from Sweden has found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who had regular mammograms had a 60% lower risk of dying from the disease in the 10 years after diagnosis and a 47% lower risk of dying from the disease in the 20 years after diagnosis compared to women who didnt have regular screening.
The research was published online on Nov. 8, 2018, by the journal Cancer. Read “The incidence of fatal breast cancer measures the increased effectiveness of therapy in women participating in mammograph screening.”
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Does Avoiding Weight Gain Or Losing Weight Decrease The Risk Of Cancer
Most of the data about whether avoiding weight gain or losing weight reduces cancer risk comes from cohort and case-control studies. As with observational studies of obesity and cancer risk, these studies can be difficult to interpret because people who lose weight or avoid weight gain may differ in other ways from people who do not.
Nevertheless, when the evidence from multiple observational studies is consistent, the association is more likely to be real. Many observational studies have provided consistent evidence that people who have lower weight gain during adulthood have lower risks of colon cancer, kidney cancer, andfor postmenopausal womenbreast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers .
Fewer studies have examined possible associations between weight loss and cancer risk. Some of these have found decreased risks of breast, endometrial, colon, and prostate cancers among people who have lost weight. However, most of these studies were not able to evaluate whether the weight loss was intentional or unintentional .
Stronger evidence for a relationship between weight loss and cancer risk comes from studies of people who have undergone bariatric surgery . Obese people who have bariatric surgery appear to have lower risks of obesity-related cancers than obese people who do not have bariatric surgery .
How Many Cancer Cases May Be Due To Obesity
A population-based study using BMI and cancer incidence data from the GLOBOCAN project estimated that, in 2012 in the United States, about 28,000 new cases of cancer in men and 72,000 in women were due to overweight or obesity . The percentage of cases attributed to overweight or obesity varied widely for different cancer types but was as high as 54% for gallbladder cancer in women and 44% for esophageal adenocarcinoma in men.
A 2016 study summarizing worldwide estimates of the fractions of different cancers attributable to overweight/obesity reported that, compared with other countries, the United States had the highest fractions attributable to overweight/obesity for colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and postmenopausal breast cancer .
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What Is A 5
A relative survival rate compares women with the same type and stage of breast cancer to women in the overall population.For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer is 90%, it means that women who have that cancer are, on average, about 90% as likely as women who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.
Cure Versus Progression Delay: Models
For the following hypothetical scenarios, we consider the basic model to recapitulate the survival experience of 45,647 ER-positive breast cancer patients diagnosed in the SEER database between 1990 and 1995 and then introduce two theoretical treatments. In this database, the actuarial 20-year breast cancer mortality was 72.4%. By simulation, we can evaluate how the effects of cytotoxic and cytostatic treatments are expected to influence the shape of the mortality curves. To illuminate the two models in terms of expected survival patterns, we have simulated cohorts of 91,294 women under the two scenarios.
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A Note Of Caution For Breast Cancer Mortality Rates
The up-dated posts that I have recently made on breast cancer survival statistics and incidence rates are a guide only. The facts, figures, graphs and bar charts are derived from statistics for large amounts of women over many years.
It can NOT be stressed enough that each case is individual and there are many complex and interlinked factors that affect the prognosis and outcome.
General mortality rates do not reflect the many factors that affect prognosis. These include the stage of breast cancer at diagnosis, type of tumor, age at diagnosis, ethnicity and more.
For a full discussion on these issues see our recent post, Breast Cancer Survival Rates.
What Is The Average American Womans Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer During Her Lifetime
Based on current incidence rates, 12.9% of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives . This estimate, from the most recent SEER Cancer Statistics Review , is based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017.
This estimate means that, if the current incidence rate stays the same, a woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. On the other hand, the chance that she will never have breast cancer is 87.1%, or about 7 in 8.
For men born in the United States today, the lifetime risk of breast cancer is 0.13%, based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017. This means that a man born today has about a 1 in 800 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during his life.
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Cosmetic Implants And Breast Cancer Survival
A 2013 review found that women with cosmetic breast implants who received a diagnosis of breast cancer also had a higher risk of dying from the disease.
This could be due to the implants masking cancer during screening or because the implants bring about changes in breast tissue.
However, a published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that having cosmetic breast implant surgery did not increase the risk of breast cancer.
Scientists need to carry out more research to confirm the link.
There are several different types of breast cancer, including:
- Ductal carcinoma: This begins in the milk duct and is the most common type.
- Lobular carcinoma: This starts in the lobules.
Invasive breast cancer occurs when the cancer cells break out from inside the lobules or ducts and invade nearby tissue. This increases the chance of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
Noninvasive breast cancer develops when the cancer remains inside its place of origin and has not yet spread. However, these cells can sometimes progress to invasive breast cancer.
A doctor often diagnoses breast cancer as the result of routine screening or when a woman approaches her doctor after detecting symptoms.
Several diagnostic tests and procedures help to confirm a diagnosis.
Does Screening Improve Breast Cancer Survival
Researchers did the study reviewed here because they wanted to answer an important question: If a woman chooses to participate in regular mammography screening, then how much will this choice improve her chances of survival if she is diagnosed, compared to women who choose not to have regular screening mammograms?
To answer the question, the researchers looked at the records of about 52,440 women aged 40 to 69 in the county of Dalarna, Sweden, from 1958 to 2015. Starting in 1977, about 66% of women aged 40 to 69 were regularly invited to have a mammogram as part of a study. From 1986 on, all women aged 40 to 69 were regularly invited to have a mammogram.
During the study period, 4,513 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Of these women who were diagnosed, 3,231 could be followed for 20 years after diagnosis, including:
- 1,225 who were diagnosed before 1977, when regular screening started
- 2,006 who were diagnosed after 1977
Another 1,281 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer from 1996 to 2005 could be followed for 10 years after diagnosis.
Overall, 1,061 women died from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis:
- 552 were diagnosed before regular screening started.
- 509 were diagnosed after regular screening started.
And 213 women died from breast cancer 11 to 20 years after diagnosis:
- 87 were diagnosed before regular screening started.
- 126 were diagnosed after regular screening started.
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A History Of Breast Cancer Or Breast Lumps
Women who have previously had breast cancer are more likely to have it again than those who have no history of the disease.
Having some types of noncancerous breast lump increases the chance of developing cancer later on. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.
Individuals with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer
Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Age
The data from the above bar chart is rather old. I just wanted to show you, readers, how good the survival statistics are now for breast cancer.
So according to our graph, if you were 45 years old at diagnosis you have an 84% chance of survival. However, please remember that the statistics are even higher than this today.
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Patients Refusal Of Surgery Strongly Impairs Breast Cancer Survival
This was a Swiss study by Verkooijen et al, published in 2005 in the Annals of Surgery that looked at 5339 patients under the age of 80 with non-metastatic breast cancer. It didnt examine CAM, just the decision to refuse breast cancer surgery. It compared patients who refused breast cancer with those that those that accepted surgery. Only 1.3% of women refused surgery. Of that group, 37 had no treatment, 25 had hormone-therapy only, and 8 had other types of treatments. So only a small percentage refused all treatment. In this study, the five-year survival of women that refused surgery was 72% versus 87% of women who had surgery. Adjusting for prognostic factors, the authors estimated that women that refused surgery had a 2.1-fold increased risk of death from breast cancer compared to conventional treatment. The survival curves make this clear:
The bottom line in this paper was that a decision to forgo surgery for breast cancer is associated with dramatically worse outcomes and survival.