Questions about the survival rate and recurrence rate are very common when someone is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer TNBC. While prognosis is, on average, poorer than with hormone receptor or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 HER2 positive tumors, triple-negative breast cancer is a very heterogeneous diverse disease. On a positive note, and unlike hormone-positive tumors that commonly recur late after five years , late recurrence is less common with triple-negative tumors. The recent approval of immunotherapy only for triple-negative disease is also optimistic.
Study Confirms Letrozole Prevents More Breast Cancer Recurrences than Tamoxifen
Survival Rates for Breast Cancer
The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer each year has remained generally stable for more than 10 years, at over , women annually. For those with early stage breast cancer, the disease is highly treatable, and there are also successful treatments for women with more advanced cancers. Still, there has been a rise in the number of women choosing to have both breasts removed after finding out they have breast cancer, even when doctors have recommended less invasive treatments such as a lumpectomy and radiation. From to , the number of women with breast cancer who had a double mastectomy tripled. But has the increase in double mastectomies resulted in more women living longer with breast cancer? Here are some important facts about mastectomy and breast cancer survival rates.
Breast cancer recurrence and prognosis
The "late recurrence" or relapse of breast cancer refers to cancers that come back after five years, but may not return for 10 years, 20 years, or even more. For people who have estrogen receptor-positive tumors, the cancer is actually more likely to recur after five years than in the first five years. An awareness of the risk of late recurrence is important for a number of reasons. People are often shocked to learn that their breast cancer has come back after say, 15 years, and loved ones who don't understand this risk are often less likely to be supportive as you cope with the fear of recurrence.
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