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I keep hearing about the 5 year survival rate of breast cancer. Why 5 years? What is the survival rate after 5 years?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Joshua Garren
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Depends on the cance

5-year survivals are usually emphasized because it is hard to follow patients after five years, and because for most cancers, the recurrence rate after five years in negligible.
Unfortunately, the risk of breast cancer recurring from 5-10 years after treatment is only marginally lower than the risk of recurrence in the first five years after treatment. Early breast cancer recurrence does drop.

In brief: Depends on the cance

5-year survivals are usually emphasized because it is hard to follow patients after five years, and because for most cancers, the recurrence rate after five years in negligible.
Unfortunately, the risk of breast cancer recurring from 5-10 years after treatment is only marginally lower than the risk of recurrence in the first five years after treatment. Early breast cancer recurrence does drop.
Dr. Joshua Garren
Dr. Joshua Garren
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