OBJECTIVES: To describe long term breast cancer mortality among women with a diagnosis of breast cancer in the past and estimate absolute breast cancer mortality risks for groups of patients with a recent diagnosis. DESIGN: Population based observational cohort study. SETTING: Routinely collected data from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. PARTICIPANTS: All 512 447 women registered with early invasive breast cancer (involving only breast and possibly axillary nodes) in England during January 1993 to December 2015, with follow-up to December 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual breast cancer mortality rates and cumulative risks by time since diagnosis, calendar period of diagnosis, and nine characteristics of patients and tumours. RESULTS: For women with a diagnosis made within each of the calendar periods 1993-99, 2000-04, 2005-09, and 2010-15, the crude annual breast cancer mortality rate was highest during the five years after diagnosis and then declined. For any given time since diagnosis, crude annual breast cancer mortality rates and risks decreased with increasing calendar period. Crude five year breast cancer mortality risk was 14.4% (95% confidence interval 14.2% to 14.6%) for women with a diagnosis made during 1993-99 and 4.9% (4.8% to 5.0%) for women with a diagnosis made during 2010-15. Adjusted annual breast cancer mortality rates also decreased with increasing calendar period in nearly every patient group, by a factor of about three in oestrogen receptor positive disease and about two in oestrogen receptor negative disease. Considering just the women with a diagnosis made during 2010-15, cumulative five year breast cancer mortality risk varied substantially between women with different characteristics: it was <3% for 62.8% (96 085/153 006) of women but ≥20% for 4.6% (6962/153 006) of women. CONCLUSIONS: These five year breast cancer mortality risks for patients with a recent diagnosis may be used to estimate breast cancer mortality risks for patients today. The prognosis for women with early invasive breast cancer has improved substantially since the 1990s. Most can expect to become long term cancer survivors, although for a few the risk remains appreciable.
Humans, Female, Breast Neoplasms, Receptors, Estrogen, Breast, England, Cohort Studies