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Breast Cancer Deaths Drop As Treatments Improve

June 20, 2011

Accounting for almost 30 percent of all cancer cases in women, breast cancer has always been an especially dreaded diagnosis. However advances in the treatment for breast cancer, along with early detection, have improved the chances of survival from the disease, The Telegraph is reporting.

Researchers from the University of Colorado analyzed data from the SEER-Medicare database following 60,000 women with breast cancer for up to nine years to study how the disease develops and report on survivals rates.

The research, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, found that older women were more likely to have other health problems resulting from previous cancer.

Of those who died, living on average to a respectable 83, more than two thirds died from causes other than breast cancer. Cardiovascular disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or diabetes, were the most likely causes of death.

This matches the causes of death for women seen amongst older women in the general population, with cardiovascular disease being top of the list.

Advances in the treatment for breast cancer, and early detection, have improved the chances of survival from the disease.

“Cancer is a big killer and is responsible for about a quarter of all deaths. However breast cancer is not necessarily a death sentence and patients need to take care of their health to reduce their risk of dying from heart disease and other age-related diseases,” explains Jennifer Patnaik, from University of Colorado Denver.

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