According to Forbes contributor Elaine Schattner, a physician who is writing a book on public perception of cancer, there is a “bright side” to metastatic breast cancer survival rates.

Dr. Schatter cites a paper by Dr. Patricia Steeg of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that calls out an “alarming” but debatable decline in survival in other advanced cancers and a general lack of progress against metastatic disease. But Dr. Schatter focuses (here) on the “bright side” by offering as evidence these graphs of median survival (left) and 5-year relative survival (right) after an initial diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.

Graphs based on information provided by the NCI Cancer Surveillance Branch (May, 2016), based on SEER 11 data. Click on image for an enlarged view.

Dr. Schatter wants us to consider all the new drugs that have come out since 2010, which she says if prescribed sensibly, makes the outlook for metastatic breast cancer better now and by 2020, “who knows?” But according to Lynn Bartnicki, a metastatic breast cancer patient advocate working with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, pharma isn’t doing enough to research and develop new drugs to treat metastatic breast cancer.

I interviewed Lynn on May 2, 2016, and the eyeforpharma Philadelphia conference. Click on “Read mor >>” to see the interview.