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ausykaren Member Posts: 59
edited September 2022 in Stage III Breast Cancer

I’ve been teary and anxious lately. I’m so confused. My oncologist has told me that my risk of recurrence has dramatically reduced since I passed the year 5 mark. I believe there must be some truth in this because she is a Professor in her field of oncology. But when I go on the internet I’m reading that hormone positive breast cancer is more likely to recur after the five year mark. Can others please let me know what your oncologist says regarding this.


  • bong
    bong Member Posts: 40

    hi Karen - I think the reduction in risk is talking about absolutes as in a comparison to yourself/ your type of cancer -meaning that say if have not recurred in 5 years for example your chances of recurrence go down - from say 20 to 10% as an example. However, when compared to say if it was tnbc, hr positive/ her2 neg is more likely to recur after 5 years. This means at the 5 yr mark, your chance of tnbc recurrence might have been say 5 % instead of 10% for hr pos. That is why hr pos is more likely to recur but at the same time there may also be a lower recurrence.

    Im not exactly sure of what articles you are referring to but I'm just trying to approach your observation from a general conceptual perspective.

    From my personal vantage, the fact that you have gone five years without a recurrence with your stats which seem somewhat like mine and I'm barely 10 months from diagnosis makes you a heroine and a beacon in my eyes. I hope you keep well and remain optimistic!

  • ausykaren
    ausykaren Member Posts: 59

    Thanks Bong. I’m always looking at ways to reduce my risk of recurrence. I am BRCA2 positive and I see that olarparib has been passed for stage 3’s to use for a preventative of Mets. Was disappointed when my oncologist said it’s not approved for Stage 3’s in Australia, so she wouldn’t give it to me.

    All the very best to you for many healthy years to come. Where are you up to with your treatment?


  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,636

    Hi Ausykaren!

    You may want to listen to this podcast: HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Recurrence

    We hope this helps and we look forward to hearing more from you soon!

    The Mods

  • bong
    bong Member Posts: 40

    hi Ausykaren - I’m about to start Verzenio in a week. I finished radiation a month ago, after neo chemo and double mastectomy. Not braca positive tho

  • ausykaren
    ausykaren Member Posts: 59

    Bong, good luck with the Verzenio. Hope you don’t have many side effects. Just to let you know I had little to none.

  • bong
    bong Member Posts: 40


  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955

    Hi, Ausykaren! For us ER+ types, each year that goes by without recurrence is a victory, and brings a lower risk of recurrence. It's true that ER+ recurrences can occur many, many years out from original diagnosis. But we are not MORE likely to recur after year five. We're more likely to recur after year five than, say, someone with triple negative disease.

    When I asked my oncologist about risk of recurrence, she said, you're not a statistic. Either it happens or it doesn't. You might see breast cancer again, but you probably won't.

    My advice? Stay off the internet. Stop looking at statistics, which are outdated anyway. Stay alert and get any new, persistent symptom checked out, but live your life.

  • ausykaren
    ausykaren Member Posts: 59

    Thank you sbelizabeth.

  • beth1965
    beth1965 Member Posts: 203

    hi Karen I did not reoccur until almost 10 years later and I had big tumor lots of nodes. In beginning prognosis was bad they thought I would reoccur fast since I started with so much. But yes when I hit 5 year mark they were surprised as I did not respond well to most treatment but I was told still at much less risk at 5 years. And every year after. My body just likes to make cancer as others I think may have bodies that don’t and treatment will have done right by them and they do well for long long periods of time or hold off reoccurance

    Everyone’s body is so unique I used to eat blueberries drink green tea and exercise lived healthy but got cancer even though no one in my family has had cancer My hubby said how the heck did you get cancer there is no rhyme or reason to it but here I sit with cancer. I do believe some bodies get stronger and build up a resistance of sorts overtime. So for many every year that passes is a good sign for most

    Hugs to all 🥰 Beth