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Breast Cancer Research

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Breast cancer research has been funded more extensively in the last few years. It’s evident by the enormous display of pink all throughout the world.

"The pink drives me nuts," Cynthia Ryan, an 18-year breast cancer survivor who volunteers to help women with the disease, told the Associated Press. Of course, not everyone shares that sentiment.

"Research doesn't come cheap," said a spokesman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure -- which says breast cancer awareness efforts have helped the foundation raise hundreds of millions of dollars for breast cancer research.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-204_162-10009826.html#ixzz1b3h7viWl

There are two main types of epidemiologic research studies and these are observational studies and randomized controlled trials.

In both types of studies, the goal is to give information that helps support or disprove an idea, called a hypothesis. A hypothesis for a study might be a link between an exposure (like alcohol use) and an outcome (like breast cancer). Though they have the same goal, observational studies and randomized controlled trials differ.

Essentially, in observational studies, participants do what they would normally do, live their lives as always. They are observed doing their normal routine. On the other hand, randomized controlled trials use interventions (diet, exercise) to change some participants' behavior to see how it affects their health. Or, they may give certain treatments (a new type of chemotherapy, for example) to some participants to see how effectively it treats their breast cancer.

The following table is an overview for women who survive five years, but many go on to survive far longer than five years. You will see that the table does not divide survival rates by all of the substages, such as IA and IB. The rates for these substages are likely to be close to the rate for the overall stage.

Stage: 5-year Survival Rate

0 - 93 percent
I - 88 percent
IIA - 81 percent
IIB - 74 percent
IIIA - 67 percent
IIIB - 41 percent*
IIIC - 49 percent*
IV - 15 percent

*These numbers are correct as written (stage IIIB shows worse survival than stage IIIC).

These numbers come from the National Cancer Data Base, and are based on people who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and 2002.

Numbers are important for informational purposes, but certainly no two women, and no two cancer cases are identical. Every woman will experience a different journey and maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider is your best option for finding the optimal treatment for your unique situation.


Susan G. Komen for the cure
Breast Cancer Research
Retrieved from the internet October 17, 2011

CBS News
Breast Cancer Awareness Turns Planet Pink: Too Much?
Retrieved from the internet on October 17, 2011

American Cancer Society
Survival Rates for Breast Cancer
Retrieved from the internet on October 17, 2011

Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to empowHER.

Reviewed October 21, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

I'm following the Action part of Komen's new motto: Less Talk, More Action. Following several breast cancer events (many of them 3 Days) I created a new business that focuses on improving health/wellness and reducing the risk of developing cancer in the first place. However, I recognize that cancer will still strike some even if they do all the 'right' things. That's why the charitable contribution component of the business is so important to me...and research doesn't come cheap.

October 23, 2011 - 10:19pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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