Breast Cancer Treatment

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In 2015, 64.2% of women diagnosed with node positive breast cancer, received multi-agent chemotherapy.

Summary graph for Breast Cancer Treatment, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). Women with breast cancer have many treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Treatment options for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer may include more than one type of treatment (ex. Surgery and radiation) or more than one agent (multi-agent chemotherapy).

The proportion of women with node-positive disease (cancer in the lymph nodes near the tumor) receiving guideline-concordant treatment is high. Clinical trials have demonstrated that women with early stage breast cancer who receive breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with radiation therapy have a survival rate similar to those of women who undergo a mastectomy. Among women for whom chemotherapy is indicated, older women are less likely to receive chemotherapy than younger women, but there are no major differences in treatment among major racial and ethnic groups.

Breast cancer also develops in men, but it is rare.

Measure

Percentage of women aged 20 and older, diagnosed with early stage breast cancer (local or regional stage), receiving breast-conserving surgery and radiation treatment.

Percentage of women aged 20 and older, diagnosed with node-positive, stage I–IIIA breast cancer, receiving multi-agent chemotherapy.

Due to SEER coding inconsistencies in AJCC stage at diagnosis data for women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, the only consistent staging system that could be used across all of the years was Summary Staging (local, regional, distant). This issue only applies to the measure on receiving breast-conserving surgery and radiation treatment through 2016 (from the SEER data) but is not an issue for the multi-agent chemotherapy measure (since it is based on SEER based patterns of care data and the most recent data point is 2015). For the breast conserving surgery and radiation measure local and regional disease was used as the closest approximation. Unfortunately this  classification includes some patients beyond stage IIb who are not necessarily recommended for breast conserving therapy and radiation (approximately 13% – although it differs by year). Thus, even if complete compliance with guidelines occurred, this measure would not reach 100%.

Note: This measure includes women with both hormone receptor positive and negative breast cancer.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • There are no Healthy People 2020 targets for cancer treatment, including breast cancer treatment and multi-agent chemotherapy.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Breast-conserving surgery and radiation treatment estimates: SEER 13 Registries, National Cancer Institute, 1992–2015.

Multi-agent chemotherapy estimates: SEER Patterns of Care/Quality of Care Studies, National Cancer Institute, 1987-2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Treatment Distribution

Treatment distribution for invasive female breast cancer patients aged 20 years and older with local or regional diagnosis, 2004-2016
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2016)
Percent of patients 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Treatment distribution for invasive female breast cancer patients aged 20 years and older with local or regional diagnosis, 2004-2016 MastectomyClick to see the detailed trend graph for Mastectomy 37.0 36.7 - 37.2
BCS with radiationClick to see the detailed trend graph for BCS with radiation 47.0 46.8 - 47.3
BCS without radiationClick to see the detailed trend graph for BCS without radiation 16.0 15.8 - 16.1

Chemotherapy

Percentage of node positive female breast cancer patients receiving multiagent chemotherapy treatment by age at diagnosis, 1987-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of patients 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of node positive female breast cancer patients receiving multiagent chemotherapy treatment by age at diagnosis, 1987-2015 Ages 20+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 20+ 64.2 57.6 - 70.2
Ages 20-64Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 20-64 82.4 74.6 - 88.2
Ages 65+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 65+ 40.7 29.9 - 52.5

Additional Information on Breast Cancer Treatment

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For health professionals

Statistics

Year Range

1987-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Summary Tables

Bladder, Breast, Colorectal

Recent Summary Trend

Stable

Desired Direction

Rising