A new study reports that relapse rates for breast cancer are lower than most women think. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center studied nearly 3000 women diagnosed with breast cancer, from stages one through three. They found that nearly 90% of women remained relapse-free 10 years after their diagnosis, 80% had not had a recurrence 15 years after they learned they had the disease.
The risk for relapse increased with the stage they were diagnosed, so women with stage-3 cancer had a higher risk than those with stage-1. The study also found women with ER positive breast cancer had a greater risk for relapse.
Researchers say this study gives patients and doctors a better idea of who may have a lingering risk for recurrence and further questions whether or not taking five years of hormone therapy benefits every patient.