Great stats

This is a link to the latest MD Anderson research about survival with secondaries. The main figure relates to 10 years! And what’s more, the last figures are from 2004, so they’re already massively out of date! Make new stats please ladies!

That’s encouraging - Thanks

I am offering myself to be in those survival stats!..please?

Nicola xx

Yep!! I will be very happy to be Im the 22%!!! Also bumping this up as it really is worth a look at…

Sadie Xx Xx

It’s really worth reading about the MD Andersen Centre. I believe they have the best bc survival rates in the US, possibly the world - and they do it by taking a very aggressive approach to treating bc mets. We all need to be pushing to get the same treatment here.

finty xx

Yep, Anderson have the best survival rates in the US (which probably means the world). I’m in touch with a lady in the States called Bev, who was treated there. she was diagnosed with metastatic BC 21 years ago.
They believe that if you have very limited spread (i.e, under 5 mets in the bone), and are strong enough to take fairly aggressive treatment, that cure (by which they mean very long term survival), is possible.
Don’t want to get on my Cyberknife hobby-horse again, but they were one of the first to do extensive research on it, and they now use it almost routinely.
The States seem to be far ahead of us in the treatment of metastatic cancer. My current Onc, did some of his training in the US, and he’s brilliant. My previous Onc did some of his training in Australia, and he was completely useless. His special interest was treating metastatic cancer with acupuncture, can you believe.
You can just hear all those chemo/rads resistant cancer cells screaming in fear at the sight of an acupuncture needle can’t you ?.

Actually I’m not sure it’s clear from the original post that those survival rates are for MD Anderson patients, not the general population - wish that they were.

Yes you’re right Finty, the stats relate to only Anderson’s patients not the general population.Buzdar and his team reviewed records of 56,864 breast cancer patients seen at MD Anderson between 1944 and 2004.
For me, the most impressive stat is the 10 year survival rate for those with metastatic BC, which has gone up from 3% in 1994, to almost 23% in 2004. I wonder what the 10 year survival rate for stage 4 BC is in this country ?

Thanks for sharing - let’s keep pushing stats up over here too!

Just been on the Cancer Research UK site to look at our 10 year survival rates for metastatic BC. Apparently our 10 year survival rate is just 8%. How can it be that Anderson MD in the States can achieve a 10 year survival rate of 23%, for stage 4 BC, and we can only manage 8% ?.

Incredible - their results are nearly 200% percent better. Well we know the answer - they treat mets aggressively, and we largely treat them palliatively.

Hi, that seems a very big gap. It does surprise me because I know some U.S. mets patients have a hard time with their insurance companies to get the same treatments we have over here as pretty standard. I do know, certainly in the past, thanks to the late JaneRA, that some U.S. stage 3, (by the U.K. definitions) patients have been classed stage 4. I wonder if that might account for some of the % ? Anyway…most interesting!
I haven’t looked at for ages, I might take a look today to see what treatments others are receiving.

Hi Belinda, you make a good point in that cancer treatment in the US is great if you can pay for health care (and of course about 40 million people in the states can’t).
However, I’m not sure about the idea that the Anderson figures for stage 4 survival are possibly distorted by the inclusion some stage 3 patients in their figures. The article provided by CharlieRay15, includes a chart that clearly separates stage 3 and stage 4. Also that would imply that Anderson are either rigging the figures, or misdiagnosing (i.e, telling patients they are stage 4, when in fact they are stage 3), and I simply don’t accept that one of the most respected hospitals in the world do that kind of thing.
As a point of interest, the Professor in charge of my treatment, did some research which suggests that here in the UK, around 50% of patients who are diagnosed as stage 3, will eventually relapse to stage 4 - and that the most, likely cause for this is that they were actually stage 4 at original diagnosis (but it was not evident). From my point of view, this is an additional indictment of our health care, because as the Anderson experience shows, if patients are caught early enough in the metastatic process, appropriate treatment can greatly extend survival.

Hi Belinda

It’s important to note that these figures are for this hospital only and not the US as a whole - and I don’t doubt for a second that the US insurance companies would do everything possible to limit their expenditure on cancer patients, or even worse deny coverage altogether as a pre-existing condition. I’m pretty confident that MD Anderson get these results, insurance issues aside, because they take a fundamentally different approach to treating mets - one that I hope will become more common here.

finty xx

Hi and thank you for the replies…I must read up more about MD Anderson.

Sorry, just want to bump this, because it’s such an interesting thread, and something everyone should be aware of. Thanks so much to Charlie for posting it.

I agree - bump away.


I’m glad this link has been of interest to so many people. The UK statistics are also, by definition, massively out of date. Because to become a “statistic” in this case, a person has to die. So anyone who lives a long, long time with secondaries cannot become a “statistic”.

Statistics are also tricky - my father gave me a good example of this from when he lived in the States at the end of the 60s. Volvo ran an ad that said “95% of all Volvos ever sold in the USA are still on the roads!”.

Sounds great, until you consider that Volvo hardly sold any cars in the USA until the early 60s, so it’s not really surprising that most of them were still on the roads!

But other posters have referred to MD Anderson and it’s true, patients their get the best care money can buy. And let’s focus on the phrase “that money can buy”. It’s bloody expensive, but cutting edge research is done there and people really are living longer! Check out the Inspire site:

It’s international (the best contibrutor of medical/scientific information is an Aussie - screen name “GroovyGirlCool”) and well worth a look.

Two more quotes:

Disrali: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Stalin: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic.”

As a completely irrelevant aside my stupid computer chair broke completely while writing this post!

Hi Charlie, I agree that the data is out of date, and statistics can be misleading, but what is interesting is that the survival rate in the UK was extrapolated from data collected in the Midlands over the same period that Anderson collected their data (so the time frames are comparable). Obviously, it’s possible that the Midlands data is not comparable with the rest of the UK- but Cancer Research suggest it is.
I do think we should be taking note of the Anderson approach (some doctors like mine already are), but that is not to say we should adopt the American Healthcare system - which would be appalling.

Lemongrove, I agree that the US system is terrible. Any forum about health relating to the US is, of necessity, dominated by questions about their apalling health insurance companies. As if you don’t have enough to think about with a serious illness!

I live in Germany, and although there is the “solidarity system” here, there are other ways to extract too much money from the public system for health, although this is not something you experience personally as an individual person who is ill, thank God.