One Million More Women Will Survive Breast Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

More women are surviving breast cancer in situ according to a report in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association is welcome news for millions of American women. There were 610,171 in situ survivors in 2005 and researchers expect that by 2016 the number will exceed one million.

Breast cancer in situ now accounts for 20 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancers. It is the early stage of the disease, when it is still confined to the layer of cells in the ducts or lobules of the breasts. Cancer is one of the three primary critical illnesses that strikes Americans resulting in billions of dollars of lost productivity and medical expenses according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explained that while there were 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States in 2005, the number of breast cancer in situ survivors was unknown.


Women with breast cancer in situ are four times more likely to develop invasive breast cancer compared with the general population, the researchers explained. The scientists study found that women with ductal breast cancer in situ, one of the more common forms, were more than five times more likely to be survivors compared with women diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in situ.

The researchers also reported that more white women survived than black women and women from other ethnic groups. "Current epidemiologic evidence regarding predictors of subsequent invasive breast cancer after breast cancer in situ is limited," the researchers noted in their report. "Guidelines are necessary to help the increasing number of breast cancer in situ survivors choose the best treatment and lifestyle strategies while still maintaining high quality of life."

SOURCES: Barbara A. Brenner, executive director, Breast Cancer Action, San Francisco; Aug. 26, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Written by Jesse Slome from the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance



A lot of key information here which is very useful to know. It's hard hitting facts like this that, while uncomfortable to face up to (even more so if you or a loved one are directly affected by it), has to be acknowledged as realities of life today, and the reason why so many people, although still not enough in my opinion, are taking out Critical Illness Insurance to prevent a medical crisis escalating into a financial one too. One of the sad things in the UK Critical Illness Insurance market is the race for 'number of conditions covered' that seems to be running among the various insurers; the reason I say its sad is not because more conditions covered is a bad thing in itself - broader coverage is of course good (although scraping the bottom of the barrel for rare conditions can be misleading with the law of diminishing returns taking effect). No, its because of the distraction away from true quality of cover that this number chasing provides. For example, the most common type of CI claim for women is cancer, and the most common cancer in women is breast cancer, yet most policies do not cover breast cancer in situ at all. I'd be focusing on which policy has the highest likelihood of paying out. Darren Ferneyhough