Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Update on Trends in Breast Cancer Survival Among Young Women

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Since 1975, there has been significant improvement in the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment on survival rates among women. However, advances appear to have plateaued after 2005, according to a report published in Cancer. The only exception seems to apply to young women treated for metastatic breast cancer, for whom survival rates continued to improve after 2005.

“The survival improvement observed in these populations is likely driven by advances in breast cancer treatments rather than screening,” Fangjian Guo, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, and colleagues concluded.

Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database were evaluated for incidence, overall survival rates, and breast cancer–specific survival rates among women between the ages of 20 and 39 diagnosed with breast cancer from 1975 to 2015.

The 5-year breast cancer–specific survival rates significantly improved from 74.0% between 1975 to 1979 to 88.5% between 2010 and 2015. However, with the exception of women with metastatic breast cancer, survival rates leveled off after 2005. Between 2000 and 2004, the 5-year survival rate was 86.3%, slightly increased to 88.3% from 2005 to 2009, and then dropped again to 87.4% between 2010 and 2015.

The investigators continued to observe survival improvements among women with metastatic breast cancer after 2005. Rates in cancer-specific survival were 45.6% from 2005 to 2009 and rose to 56.5% from 2010 to 2015.

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