One in five women with breast cancer will have their illness return following treatment, according to experts.
It is the first time that scientists have estimated the likelihood of the tumours coming back.
Researchers analysed the records of 1,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer since 1999.
Sad statistic: About 95 per cent of the women whose cancer returned were not alive ten years later
They found that the tumour returned in 214 cases – 22.6 per cent – and it came back an average of three years and four months after the patient finished treatment.
Sadly, 95 per cent of the women whose cancer returned were not alive ten years later.
Dr Adam Glaser, from the St James’ Institute of Oncology, Leeds, will present his study later this week at the National Cancer Intelligence Network conference in Birmingham.
Just over 48,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year and it leads to 11,500 deaths
He said: ‘These findings are invaluable in helping us understand just how many breast cancer patients are experiencing cancer for the first or second time.’
Just over 48,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year and it leads to 11,500 deaths.
The study, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, also found that 60 per cent of all patients were still alive ten years after diagnosis.
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