Women treated for early stage breast cancer still face a substantial risk of recurrence up to 20 years later, a large, new study shows.
Date: Nov. 8, 2017
Excerpt: “Specifically, the researchers followed women with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, which means the hormone helps fuel the cancer’s growth. Standard treatment includes hormonal therapy — with drugs that block estrogen’s effects — to help prevent a return of the cancer.
All of the women in the study, nearly 63,000, were scheduled to receive the typical five years of hormonal therapy.
Researchers found that while the women remained cancer-free for those five years, the risk for recurrence over the next 15 years was still significant.
It was greatest for women whose initial cancer had spread to multiple lymph nodes near the breast by the time it was diagnosed. Their odds of eventually having a distant recurrence — meaning the cancer spread to such tissue as the bones, liver or lungs — were as high as 41 percent.”