More Women Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer Than Ever, Thanks to Better Treatments, Study Finds

More Women Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer Than Ever, Thanks to Better Treatments, Study Finds
The number of women living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is increasing. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, say researchers, noting that today's better treatments allow patients to live longer than ever with the disease The National Cancer Institute (NCI) study, “Estimation of the number of women living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States,” appeared in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “Even though this group of patients with MBC is increasing in size, our findings are favorable,” Angela Mariotto, data analytics chief at NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, said in a press release. “This is because, over time, these women are living longer with MBC. Longer survival with MBC means increased needs for services and research. Our study helps to document this need.” To estimate the number of women living with MBC, researchers need to include those who have metastatic disease at diagnosis, as well as those in whom the cancer spreads later on in the disease. U.S. data on patients who develop MBC after the initial diagnosis is lacking. In this group of women, cancer spread is detected as the disease progresses or recurs — but most cancer registries don't routinely report recurrence. To overcome this, NCI researchers, along with colleagues at the New York-based Metastatic Breast Canc
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