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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • long-term survival;
  • EUROCARE;
  • stage

Abstract

Few studies have addressed longer-term survival for breast cancer in European women. We have made predictions of 10-year survival for European women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000–2002. Data for 114,312 adult women (15–99 years) diagnosed with a first primary malignant cancer of the breast during 2000–2002 were collected in the EUROCARE-4 study from 24 population-based cancer registries in 14 European countries. We estimated relative survival at 1, 5, and 10 years after diagnosis for women who were alive at some point during 2000–2002, using the period approach. We also estimated 10-year survival conditional on survival to 1 and 5 years after diagnosis. Ten-year survival exceeded 70% in most regions, but was only 54% in Eastern Europe, with the highest value in Northern Europe (about 75%). Ten-year survival conditional on survival for 1 year was 2–6% higher than 10-year survival in all European regions, and geographic differences were smaller. Ten-year survival for women who survived at least 5 years was 88% overall, with the lowest figure in Eastern Europe (79%) and the highest in the UK (91%). Women aged 50–69 years had higher overall survival than older and younger women (79%). Six cancer registries had adequate information on stage at diagnosis; in these jurisdictions, 10-year survival was 89% for local, 62% for regional and 10% for metastatic disease. Data on stage are not collected routinely or consistently, yet these data are essential for meaningful comparison of population-based survival, which provides vital information for improving breast cancer control.