Skip to main content
Short- and Long-term Cause-specific Survival of Patients with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
BMC Cancer (2005)
  • Patricia Tai, University of Saskatchewan
  • Edward Yu, University of Western Ontario
  • Ross Shiels, University of Saskatchewan
  • Juan Pacella, University of Saskatchewan
  • Kurian Jones, University of Saskatchewan
  • Evgeny Sadikov, University of Saskatchewan
  • Shazia Mahmood, University of Saskatchewan
Background: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) had been perceived to have a poor prognosis. Oncologists were not enthusiastic in the past to give aggressive treatment. Single institution studies tend to have small patient numbers and limited years of follow-up. Most studies do not report 10-, 15- or 20-year results. Methods: Data was obtained from the population-based database of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute from 1975-1995 using SEER*Stat5.0 software. This period of 21 years was divided into 7 periods of 3 years each. The years were chosen so that there was adequate follow-up information to 2000. ICD-O-2 histology 8530/3 was used to define IBC. The lognormal model was used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 1684 patients were analyzed, of which 84% were white, 11% were African Americans, and 5% belonged to other races. Age distribution was < 30 years in 1%, 30-40 in 11%, 40-50 in 22%, 50-60 in 24%, 60-70 in 21%, and > 70 in 21%. The lognormal model was validated for 1975-77 and for 1978-80, since the 10-, 15- and 20-year cause-specific survival (CSS) rates, could be calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method with data available in 2000. The data were then used to estimate the 10-, 15- and 20-year CSS rates for the more recent years, and to study the trend of improvement in survival. There were increasing incidences of IBC: 134 patients in the 1975-77 period to 416 patients in the 1993-95 period. The corresponding 20-year CSS increased from 9% to 20% respectively with standard errors of less than 4%. Conclusion: The improvement of survival during the study period may be due to introduction of more aggressive treatments. However, there seem to be no further increase of long-term CSS, which should encourage oncologists to find even more effective treatments. Because of small numbers of patients, randomized studies will be difficult to conduct. The SEER population-based database will yield the best possible estimate of the trend in improvement of survival for patients with IBC.
  • Adult,
  • Aged,
  • Aged,
  • 80 and over,
  • Animals,
  • Breast Neoplasms,
  • Female,
  • Humans,
  • Inflammation,
  • Middle Aged,
  • Models,
  • Statistical,
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.),
  • Registries,
  • SEER Program,
  • Software,
  • Time Factors,
  • Treatment Outcome,
  • United States
Publication Date
October 22, 2005
Publisher Statement
Published in: BMC Cancer, 2005, 5:137. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-5-137
Citation Information
Patricia Tai, Edward Yu, Ross Shiels, Juan Pacella, et al.. "Short- and Long-term Cause-specific Survival of Patients with Inflammatory Breast Cancer" BMC Cancer Vol. 5 Iss. 137 (2005)
Available at: