- Reviewed by Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
Some things never change: a breast cancer diagnosis still evokes a storm of anxiety — just as it did decades ago — despite the fact that survival rates have soared. Indeed, while more than two million women worldwide receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year, the average risk of dying in the following five years has dropped from 14% to 5% since just the 1990s, according to a June 2023 study involving more than a half-million women.
"For many women, a breast cancer diagnosis is particularly unsettling because we often don't know why a patient developed it," says Dr. Harold Burstein, a medical oncologist at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "But the good news is, outcomes are getting better and better."
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About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
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