There have been significant advances in breast cancer treatment, however early detection is extremely important in more positive survival rates. Survival rates for women are dependent on early detection.
When tumors were discovered early the survival rates were best. “The general prospects for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer in the Western world are very good,” said lead researcher Dr. Madeleine Tilanus-Linthorst, of Erasmus University Medical Center. Her studies showed that breast cancer patients diagnosed in the years of 2006 to 2012 the 5 year survival rate was 88%, while it was slightly lower at 83% when diagnosed between 1999 and 2005.
The smaller the tumor is at the time of diagnosis, the better the prognosis. In recent years, of the women diagnosed almost all survived at least five years when the tumors were smaller than 3/4ths of an inch.
“Catching the cancer early is still highly important,” Tilanus-Linthorst
The studies of Dr. Harold Burstein, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, show that size does matter, especially when concerning tumors. Advanced treatments such as Herceptin, a targeted drug that target specific abnormal proteins found in breast tumors, hormonal therapies are also used more in addition to improved chemotherapy treatments all have contributed to improved survival rates as well.
Even with advanced therapies tumor size at diagnosis remained important for a woman’s outlook. This is why self-examination and regular mammograms are key for women. There is some debate over how important mammograms are for women under the age of 50. The American Cancer Society suggests yearly mammograms for women starting at 40.