Clinical trials are extremely important scientific studies needed and required to assess new medical treatments, including treatments for diseases like breast cancer. This article explores the reasons why clinical trials are necessary, what exactly they are, and how people with breast cancer can benefit from clinical trials.
Improved Breast Cancer Survival Rates
According to the American Cancer Society
, improved treatment options are improving a patient's chances of surviving breast cancer. Currently, the five-year relative survival rate for women who have either stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer is close to 100%. Later-stage breast cancer has a lower survival rate, but it is still high: For women with stage 2 breast cancer, the five-year relative survival rate is about 93%, while for stage 3 breast cancers it is about 72%.
Continued Need for New Treatments
Despite successes in treatment, breast cancer remains one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, and continues to be fatal — particularly if the disease spreads to other parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, 224,147 women and 2,125 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. in 2012, and 41,150 women and 405 men died from the disease (statistics compiled by the U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group in the report, United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report<