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New Statistical Method Estimates Time to Metastasis of Breast Cancer

A statistical method could fill the gaps in the U.S. cancer registry data to estimate the short- and long-term risk of recurrence of hormone receptor (HR)-positive and HR-negative breast cancers.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that while women diagnosed with HR-positive breast cancer have lower risk of progression to metastatic disease soon after the diagnosis, their risk persists for several years. In contrast, for women diagnosed with HR-negative disease, the risk of progression to metastatic disease is high soon after the diagnosis, but the long-term risk is lower than that for HR-positive disease.

"Progression to metastatic breast cancer is probably the most important concern women have when they are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer," said Angela Mariotto, PhD, chief of Data Analytics Branch at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. "Knowing the risks of progressing to metastatic breast cancer is important for patients making decisions about their treatment as well as for cancer control experts identifying research priorities and health services planning."

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