'Cure' from breast cancer among two populations of women followed for 23 years after diagnosis.

Woods, LM; Rachet, B; Lambert, PC; Coleman, MP; (2009) 'Cure' from breast cancer among two populations of women followed for 23 years after diagnosis. Annals of oncology, 20 (8). pp. 1331-6. ISSN 0923-7534 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdn791

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BACKGROUND: Although survival from breast cancer has greatly improved over the past three decades, there is little consensus as to whether a population of women diagnosed with breast cancer can ever be considered 'cured' of the disease. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We examined population 'cure' among women aged 15-99 years diagnosed with breast cancer from 1980 to 1995 in the West Midlands (England) and New South Wales (Australia). We calculated interval-specific excess mortality rates and fitted a number of statistical models to evaluate 'cure'. RESULTS: There was little evidence that these women could ever be considered cured of the disease because excess mortality due to breast cancer was evident among young and middle-aged women up to 23 years after their diagnosis. Older women diagnosed in New South Wales displayed some evidence of 'cure'. However, this was estimated to occur only after the women's 75th birthday. CONCLUSIONS: There is no strong evidence of the existence of a 'cured' subpopulation among young or middle-aged women diagnosed with breast cancer in either West Midlands or New South Wales during the period 1980-1995. Additional follow-up data would permit 'cure' to be assessed for women diagnosed more recently than 1995.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Cancer Survival Group
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 19465419
Web of Science ID: 268806700005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/5404


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