Navigation Links
Risk of Breast Cancer Relapse Can Linger
Date:8/12/2008

Study shows recurrence after five-year mark, but numbers aren't as high as some might suspect, study says

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of relapse can linger for some breast cancer survivors even after completing five years of what doctors call systemic therapy, a new study found.

But, as gloomy as that news sounds, there is a relative bright spot: the risk may not be as dire as many women fear.

"I would like to think these numbers are smaller than women think they are," the study's lead author, Dr. Abenaa Brewster, a medical oncologist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said.

Most women, she added, "remain terrified they are going to relapse. I think the message for women is, the risk may not be as large as they think."

Brewster's team evaluated 2,838 breast cancer patients whose disease ranged from stage I to III. All had been treated with some form of adjuvant systemic therapy between 1985 and 2001 and had remained disease-free for five years, which is traditionally considered a landmark in cancer survival.

The women had a variety of treatments -- surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or endocrine therapy. Endocrine therapy involves tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors and a combination of the drugs and is usually given for five years.

About 10 years after the diagnosis, 89 percent of the women remained recurrence-free. And about 80 percent remained recurrence-free 15 years after the diagnosis.

In all, 216 patients developed a recurrence, Brewster said. She found that the risk or recurrence varied by stage and tumor type. Those women with stage I disease had a 7 percent chance of relapse; stage II, 11 percent; and stage III, 13 percent.

Besides the stage of cancer at diagnosis, hormone receptor status affected risk, the study found. "Women who had ER-positive cancer were more likely to have late recurrences than those with ER-negative," Brewster said. This finding held true for premenopausal and postmenopausal women. While 34 ER-negative women had a relapse, 149 ER-positive did.

"Estrogen receptor status is a tumor marker we look at," Brewster said. "We know that those who have ER-positive tumors [have] cancers that are responsive to the effects of estrogen."

While women in the study were taking a variety of hormone therapies, none took five years of aromatase inhibitors, which are now the standard of care for postmenopausal women but weren't when the study began in 1985, Brewster said.

The study findings were published online Aug. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said the study findings leave some unanswered questions, such as the best course of action at the five-year mark. But it offers some interesting information, he added.

"The major message is that even though women may have gone through five years of hormonal therapy, they are still at risk of relapse," he said. Another important finding, he added, is that those women with ER-positive tumors seem to be at higher risk than those with ER-negative tumors.

"Basically the jury is out on the potential value of additional treatment strategies once the five years is completed," Lichtenfeld said. "Based on this study, we need to be open to question whether other treatment programs may be appropriate in some of these women after the five-year period is completed."

More information

To learn more about hormone therapy for breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Abenaa Brewster, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and medical oncologist, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Aug. 12, 2008, Journal of the National Cancer Institute


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Risk assessment plays key role in long-term treatment of breast cancer
2. MedexSupply Announces the Release of the ADC Limited Edition Pink Ribbon Stethoscope, With Proceeds Being Donated to Breast Cancer Research
3. Breast-Feeding: The Stress Buster That Lasts for Years
4. Beyond PTEN: Alternate genes linked to breast, thyroid and kidney cancer predisposition
5. Adjunct Breast Imaging Market to Increase by Almost 28% per Year Through 2013
6. Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) Comments on Christina Applegates Breast Cancer Diagnosis
7. Breast CT Scans Could Be Comfortable Alternative to Mammograms
8. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Provides Complimentary Online Access to Breastfeeding Medicine for the Month of August
9. Minorities less likely to know about breast cancer treatment options
10. 2 different breast cancer screening strategies are equally effective
11. 2 Breast Cancer Screening Strategies Prove Effective
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is ... Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, ... their offering. Surgical ... business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a ... an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: