Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My oncologist once mentioned that roughly 75% of breast cancer recurrences are metastatic. If this is true, most patients who recur would eventually die after a recurrence. I can't find any substantiation for his remark. Can you tell me whether he is right or not? I am trying to decide whether or not to continue an aromatase inhibitor.
Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
Unfortunately, it IS true...of all breast cancer recurrences, 75% or so are metastatic, and about 25% are "local"-only recurrences, meaning they care confined to just the breast region. Metastatic breast cancer carries a median life expectancy of about 2.5 to 3 years. If a patient is taking an aromatase inhibitor to prevent recurrence, I would recommend that she continue.Imprima English
Jun 5, 2014 - For patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer, distant invasive recurrence is low for T1a tumors and is higher for T1b tumors, especially those with T1b tumors reported at 1.0 cm, according to a study published online June 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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