Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 173–178 | Cite as

Hazard rates of recurrence following diagnosis of primary breast cancer

  • Ismail Jatoi
  • Anna Tsimelzon
  • Heidi Weiss
  • Gary M. Clark
  • Susan G. Hilsenbeck


We calculated hazard rates for recurrence in patients with primary breast cancer (stage I, II; no adjuvant therapy). Previous publications have indicated a peak in hazard rates for recurrence (or death) at approximately 2–3 years after diagnosis of primary breast cancer. However, there have been conflicting reports concerning the presence of a second peak at 5–7 years after diagnosis. In this study, we estimated hazard functions by the Nelson–Aalen method and fit by cubic–linear and cubic–cubic–linear models to test for the presence of one or two peaks, respectively. We identified two peaks in hazard of recurrence, one at 2 years and another at 5 years. The 5-year peak, though statistically significant, represents very small differences in patient outcome. This additional peak may be an artifact of interval censoring due to a tendency to follow-up patients at specific bench-mark time points.


breast cancer hazard functions hazard rates recurrence survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ismail Jatoi
    • 1
  • Anna Tsimelzon
    • 2
  • Heidi Weiss
    • 2
  • Gary M. Clark
    • 3
  • Susan G. Hilsenbeck
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniformed Services UniversityBethesdaMaryland
  2. 2.Breast Center at Baylor College of MedicineHouston
  3. 3.OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.BoulderUSA

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