Learning about progress against cancer has been a main theme here on After Twenty Years since I started this blog about five years ago. One of my first posts in 2013 was a look back at progress against breast cancer in the twenty years since I had been diagnosed.
Now, as we come to the end of 2018, let’s take another look back, but this time let’s focus on what we’ve seen in progress against breast cancer over the last five years or so.
But first: what might real “progress” against breast cancer actually look like? Personally, these are some things I would be looking for:
- Are mortality rates from breast cancer declining — are fewer people dying from breast cancer?
- Do we have new ways of treating breast cancer that are more effective and less toxic?
- Are we closer to being able to say that anyone who needs treatment can expect to receive high quality care?
- Are we better able to detect breast cancer “early” — when it can often be treated more effectively?
- Are fewer people getting breast cancer in the first place — are we learning how to prevent the disease?
So let’s review some of the things that have stood out about progress in each of these areas over the last few years, most of which we’ve talked about here on the blog. I’ll include links to the relevant posts as we go along. Continue reading