Natural History of Breast Cancer
Retrospective analysis was made of 3,918 cases of breast cancer seen during 1954–1964. Median survival was 4.5 years and 30% of patients survived through a 10-year period. For stages I, II, and III patients, the mortality increased during 1–4 years after diagnosis and then slowly declined. Beyond 15 years, stage III patients assumed the same mortality (5%) as those with lesser disease; 58% excess of deaths from all causes after 15–20 years showed that breast cancer was not curable within 20 years but ultimately, taking account of clinical status, 51% of 5-year survivors with stages I-III disease are cured.
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