This leads the authors to conclude that the 2 phenomena, treatment advances and screening, have not led to a cure.
1: Ann Oncol. 2009 Aug;20(8):1331-6. Epub 2009 May 22.
Ann Oncol. 2009 Aug;20(8):1291-2.
'Cure' from breast cancer among two populations of women followed for 23 years after diagnosis.Woods LM, Rachet B, Lambert PC, Coleman MP.
Cancer Research UK Survival Group, Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
PMID: 19465419 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]