Question: How long must a woman survive after breast cancer to be considered cancer-free or cured?
Answer: According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for non-metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has not spread beyond the breast) is 80%. Newspapers and television usually translate that to, “If you’ve survived for five years, you’re cancer-free.”
This is a bit misleading. It’s true that during the first five years, the risk of recurrence is highest. But breast cancer can recur even after five years. The important point to know is that the more time passes,