Dr. Blackwell on Late Recurrences in Patients With Breast Cancer

March 10, 2016
Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD

Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, medical oncologist, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses using the word "cure" in patients with breast cancer who have not had recurrences of disease.

Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, medical oncologist, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses using the word "cure" in patients with breast cancer who have not had recurrences of disease.

Though it would be ideal to tell patients they are cured of their disease at 5 or 10 years, Blackwell is hesitant because there are several cases of late recurrences, she explains. Patients are always at risk for their cancer returning.

Blackwell is also cautious of primary breast cancer developing, which is often overlooked. The percentage of early-stage breast cancer survivors continues to increase; however, the same amount of patients are at risk for a new breast cancer.

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