Long-term ER-negative survivors?

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Question from Chat: Seems I run across a lot of ER-negatives looking for long-term survivors to give them hope. Is our future really worse than ER-positive? Are there long-term survivors?
Answers - Kathy D. Miller, M.D. Absolutely there are long-term survivors with ER-negative tumors! The timing of recurrence between ER-negative and ER-positive tumors is the biggest difference. The risk of recurrence with ER-negative tumors is highest in the first few years after diagnosis with a much lower risk of recurrence later. In women with ER-positive tumors, the risk of recurrence is lower in those earlier years, but is more constant. Most women who develop a recurrence more than five years after an initial diagnosis of breast cancer have ER-positive breast cancers.

So whether the risk of recurrence is higher with ER-negative cancer depends on when you look. If you look at the cumulative risk of recurrence at five years, there is a higher risk of recurrence with an ER-negative tumor. But if you look at the cumulative risk of recurrence at 10 or 15 years after diagnosis, there is very little, if any, difference.

On Wednesday, November 19, 2005, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Hormone-Receptor-Negative Breast CancerKathy D. Miller, M.D., Marisa Weiss, M.D., and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answered your questions about a wide range of issues related to hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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