More Cases of Breast Cancer Are Diagnosed, And The Survival Rate Increases
Breast cancer is a terrible disease, and one that takes the lives of thousands of woman every year. To be sure, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, about 40,610 women will die from breast cancer in the United States.
Also concerning is the fact that more and more women are being diagnosed with the cancer. In 2017, it is estimated that approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed.
But there is some positive news for those suffering from this terrible disease: women with aggressive breast cancer are living longer.
Five-Year Survival Rate for Breast Cancer Doubles
The New York Times recently published an article with some valuable statistics about women’s breast cancer survival rates, including the fact that from 1992 to 1994, the five-year survival rate for women under age 49 with metastatic breast cancer was 18 percent. The five year survival rate doubled, however, to 36 percent, from 2005 to 2012.
The five-year survival rate refers to the number of people who are living five years after the date that they are diagnosed.
Why Are Women with Aggressive Breast Cancer Living Longer?
Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, especially the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, are living long for a number of reasons. Part of this reason is, of course, thanks to improvements in medicine over the past few decades. With diagnosis and better treatment, and a better understanding of cancer, patients receive the care that they need to fight their disease. One treatment option that has helped improve cancer survival rates is trastuzumab, which was introduced in 1998.
In addition to better treatment, improved imaging technology is also helping doctors to diagnose cancer earlier, begin treatment as soon as possible, and therefore improving chances of survival.
Unfortunately, even though survival rates are increasing, the incident rates of metastatic cancer are also increasing. While the precise causes of breast cancer are not understood, many lifestyle factors, including being overweight or obese, drinking alcohol, being sedentary, hormone therapies, and using birth control, may increase the risk of cancer.
Early Diagnosis Key to Prognosis
Catching breast cancer early on and beginning treatment immediately is by far the best way to improve a patient’s prognosis. While routine mammograms are common, many women fail to undergo regular screenings, and even when they do, doctors do not always accurately detect tumors or diagnose cancer. The failure to diagnose cancer is serious – when cancer is misdiagnosed and treatment is delayed, the cancer may grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. This makes it much harder to treat.
When breast cancer is misdiagnosed or goes undetected by a doctor despite signs that indicate that a patient indeed has cancer, and the patient suffers harm as a result, the patient can seek damages for their losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. At the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help you. Contact us today online or by phone for your free consultation to learn more.