Will 30% of Early Stage (1-IIIA) go on to metastasize??
So I started this question in another thread but was hoping for additional feedback.
With MBC awareness day last weekend, a stat is going around that caught my attention. Basically says that 30% of early stage BC patients will eventually have their bc metastasize AFTER adjuvant treatment. Susan G. Komen even states it here --> Click Here
So I feel like I've researched the hell out of BC since my diagnosis in 2010 and have never heard/noticed that stat before. I'm thinking...oh that must be some sort of average through stage 3, and certainly wouldn't be very relevant for Stage 1?
But then somebody kindly directed me to this link --- > Click Here
According to the link it states (my bold):
"Quote from The Oncologist Journal “Prognostic and Predictive Factors in Early-Stage Breast Cancer” (May 2004) “The poor outcome with the Halstedian approach, as well as the observation that 20%-30% of node-negative patients ultimately develop metastatic disease, led to the currently held micrometastatic paradigm. This paradigm asserts that many patients with early-stage disease have distant micrometastatic disease present at the time of diagnosis, putting them at risk for the later development of overt metastatic disease."
So "node negative" would clearly mostly include Stage I. So it is saying that 20-30% of stage ONE bc patients will metastasize? That's certainly not what the oncs or cancer math tell you. Though looking at cancermath it only gives you stats for 15 year survival. It's not telling you your percentage of never having BC again in your life.
The link says "Statistics are not collected for metastatic recurrences which comprise the larger portion of mbc cases. Statistics are only gathered for initial diagnosis of Stage IV metastatic disease."
WTH? I can't believe they don't track how many original BC's end up metastasizing? I would think that would be valuable information. If the 20-30% really is true, I think it definitely should be more publicized. Instead of this widely advertised stat of 98% survival rate. (when it's only talking 5 years). Shoot, I think a lot of Stage IV bc's are outliving 5 years.
None of this changes what I would/did do for treatment (I think! - now I'm wondering about the 10 yrs instead of 5 on tamox). I'm pretty much of the mindset that you do what you can with the knowledge, advice and resources that you have at the time and then try not to worry about it. It's out of your hands at that point. But I would like to know the true stats of how many bc's come back no matter what the hell we do for treatment. I'm sure it will probably scare the hell out of some people, but it would also get more people demanding more money goes towards a cure than this pink sugar coated misleading happy wappy "nobody dies of bc anymore" crap. I don't know. What do you all think? I was lead to believe that I had a 90%+ chance of never seeing bc again, when it really could be 70 to 80%? Does it matter at this point? Are we better off not knowing? Or is knowledge power in this case?
*****Edited to add: *******Momine (on page 6) added this ~ "I tracked down that 30% thing, because it just didn't sound right. The statement is attributed to Dr. Iman Mohamed, a breast cancer specialist. I tweeted her to ask what this number means. She kindly responded that this is the average recurrence of all breast cancers if not treated with systemic therapy (chemo, tamox, AI)."
So that is certainly reassuring news for early stagers, however, should not diminish the fact that we need a cure and better treatments for Stage IV. And the media needs to stop with the scare tactics and misleading statistics to the general public.
Edited AGAIN ... Despite Momine's reassuring statement from Dr. Iman Mohamed... I'm still finding crap on the internet saying similiar stats even AFTER treatment... not w/out treatment. (See page 8) And the conversation continues.......