5 YEARS CLEAR
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?
The five-year scan is calculated from the date of the patient’s initial cancer diagnosis. Of those who are diagnosed with breast cancer, 90 per cent will live beyond five years, according to Australian Government statistics. However, now that experts understand how differently breast cancers can behave, the five-year mark isn’t as important a milestone as it once was.
“We now know that some types of breast cancer tend to recur early, but for other types, the risk of recurrence persists past five years and beyond,” associate professor Elgene Lim, head of the breast cancer research laboratory at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, says. “I always tell my patients to remain vigilant.”