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Changes In Long Term Prognosis For Breast Cancer In A Dutch Cancer Registry

Henk W. Nab, Wim C. J. Hop, Mariad A. Crommelin, Huub M. Kluck, Louis H. Van Der Heijden and Jan-Willem W. Coebergh
BMJ: British Medical Journal
Vol. 309, No. 6947 (Jul. 9, 1994), pp. 83-86
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29724104
Page Count: 4
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Changes In Long Term Prognosis For Breast Cancer In A Dutch Cancer Registry
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Abstract

Objectives—To assess whether the long term survival of patients with breast cancer has changed with time. Design—Population based descriptive study. Setting—Eindhoven Cancer Registry in south east Netherlands. Subjects—2052 patients with first primary breast cancer diagnosed between 1955 and 1974. Main outcome measures—Overall survival and relative survival. Results—Overall survival was 35% (727 patients) after 10 years, 21% (267) after 20 years, and 15% (25) after 30 years. The corresponding relative survival rates were 43%, 34%, and 34%, respectively. Survival improved from 1955 onwards for all ages and all tumour stages. Improvement was observed in both overall and relative survival. Prognosis was strongly related to the stage at diagnosis in the first 10 years of follow up but independent of stage after 10 years. Survival of patients still alive after 19 years became similar to that of the general female population. Conclusions—Both short and long term survival improved considerably in all age groups. This improvement was most marked for patients who were diagnosed with a localised tumour. Patients who survive for 19 years may be considered cured.

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