KnowBreastCancer StopBreastCancer Learn the Facts. Know the Evidence. Become an Advocate. Brought to you by NBCC

Relative Risk vs. Absolute Risk

We often hear news reports that something has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer or reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. These reports are often misleading because they use numbers representing relative risk reductions. Absolute risk reduction is what really matters, which is often much lower, and often not reported. […]

What are the different types of research studies?

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is a direct comparison of existing options available for treating a particular medical condition. It may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different interventions, such as surgery and drug therapy. It may also compare the effectiveness of how and when health […]

What is Evidence-Based Health Care?

“Evidence-based health care” means health care that is based on the best scientific research, combined with what’s important to patients, and doctors’ knowledge and experience. People are usually surprised to learn that not all medical care is based on the best evidence, but unfortunately, it’s true. Why is evidence-based health care so important? Much of […]

Where do patients and advocates find evidence?

This website,, is a good place to keep up-to-date on the research looking at how breast cancer develops, how we might prevent it, and which treatments are most effective for which patients. Under the News & Research section, breast cancer studies are highlighted, summarized, and analyzed by breast cancer advocates. The Controversies section outlines […]

How do patients and advocates evaluate evidence?

More Questions to Ask About Evidence Where was the research done? Who did the research? Does anyone benefit financially from the research? What is missing? What do we still need to know to get a better picture of the truth? Researchers often – but don’t always – publish the results of their research in journals, […]

Research and Evidence

The Scientific Method The steps of the scientific method are to: Ask a Question Do Background Research Construct a Hypothesis Test a Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment Analyze Data and Draw a Conclusion Communicate Results It is important in evaluating research to think about how the hypothesis was tested – was it done in a […]


Absolute risk The risk is the chance that something will happen to you during a certain period of time. It is the number of people who would have the event if 100 people were observed. It is written as a percent (%). For instance, your risk of getting a disease in the next 5 years […]

FDA approves new drug for the treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer

On June 8, the FDA approved Perjeta (pertuzumab), a new anti-HER2 therapy, to treat patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. According to the FDA, the drug is intended for patients who have not received prior treatment for metastatic breast cancer with an anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy and is to be combined with trastuzumab, another anti-HER2 […]

Supplement on Breast Cancer

The Journal Nature released a supplement on breast cancer today, including two articles on breast cancer metastasis, one on redesigning clinical trials for metastasis, and another on the reality of metastasis, with a discussion of tumor dormancy. MYTHS VS. TRUTHS Brush up on your breast cancer myths and truths. Find out if you know more […]

“Rewiring” Cells to Treat Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cells can be “rewired” to make them more sensitive to chemotherapy, according to a new study published in the journal Cell. Rather than giving targeted therapy and chemotherapy simultaneously, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) pretreated the cancer cells with targeted therapy, making them more susceptible to DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Dr. Michael […]