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Breast Cancer 5 Year Survival Rate

Stage 4 Survival Rates

Breast Cancer five-year survival rates up to 91 per cent

To get a perspective on the difference in survival rates during different stages of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society the rate of survival after diagnosis is:

  • For those at stage 2 there is an expected five-year survival rate of over 90%.
  • For those at stage 3 there is an expected five-year survival rate of 72%.
  • For stage 4 there is an expected five-year survival rate of 22%.

Because the earlier stages of breast cancer have much longer survival rates, early detection and treatment are important.

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Symptoms Of Metastatic Breast Cancer

The symptoms of stage 4 breast cancer depend on the location of the cancer and where it has spread in your body.

  • If breast cancer has spread to your bones, you may notice a sudden new bone pain. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to your ribs, spine, pelvis, or arm and leg bones.
  • If it has spread to your brain, you may experience headaches, vision or speech changes, or memory problems.
  • Breast cancer that has spread to your lungs or liver usually causes no symptoms.

The main treatments for stage 4 breast cancer are targeted drug therapies that destroy cancer cells wherever they are in your body.

These treatments may include:

  • hormone therapy, which stops or slows the growth of tumors by preventing your body from producing hormones or interfering with the effect of hormones on breast cancer cells
  • chemotherapy, where drugs given orally or through an IV travel through your bloodstream to fight cancer cells
  • immunotherapy, which uses drugs that stimulate your immune system to destroy cancer cells
  • a combination of these therapies

In some cases, surgery or radiation therapy may be used to treat stage 4 breast cancer.

The following are the common treatment options for different types of stage 4 breast cancer.

Why Do Survival Rates Vary Across Cancers

Survival rates vary by cancer type as well as being influenced by stage of detection, diagnosis and treatment. For example, the latest UK data shows the 5-year age-standardised survival rate for breast cancer that is, the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after diagnosis is over 80%. However, some cancers, such as lung cancer, have a 5-year survival rate of less than 20%.

A partial explanation for higher survival rates for some cancer types is the greater proportion of patients diagnosed at an earlier stage. This may be due to the availability and uptake of screening programmes, leading to earlier detection and diagnosis.

Survival can also depend on an individuals health, presence of comorbidities and other tumour-related factors. Despite advances in research and technology, some cancer types remain difficult to diagnose and/or treat in comparison to other cancer types.

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How Quickly Do Breast Cancer Tumors Grow From Stage To Stage

Cancer cells divide and multiply quickly in such a way that as a tumor gets bigger, it divides and grows even faster. The average doubling time for breast cancer tumors is between 50 and 200 days. Breast cancer tumor growth rate is impacted by hormonal factors, such as hormone receptor status and HER2 status.

What Overall Cancer Survival Rates Cannot Tell You

Breast Cancer Survival Rates: By Stage, Demographics, and More

Overall cancer survival stats are based off thousands of patients. None of them are in an identical situation as you, other than they have a particular type of cancer. The statistics should not dissuade you from considering a treatment. The stats do not represent your chance for remission. In fact, many people choose to ignore the survival statistic.

Your lifestyle, habits, and other medical conditions are unique. To this end, your chance for remission may be higher than the statistics suggest.

Again, your doctor can diagnose you to weed out information that is not pertinent to your individual situation. Just as cancer should not define you, neither should overall cancer survival statistics.

These survival rates cannot:

Provide information on the most recent treatments. There is ongoing research that could be making information from five years ago irrelevant. Keep in mind that today’s research will not impact survival stats for at least five years.

Tell you which treatments to choose. That’s up to you and your doctor. For some people, the treatment with the most excellent chance for remission is the one they’ll want. However, do consider cost, treatment schedule, and side effects.

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Can Stage 4 Breast Cancer Go Into Remission

Stage 4 breast cancer can go into remission, meaning that it isnt detected in imaging or other tests. Pathological complete remission indicates a lack of cancer cells in tissues removed after surgery or biopsy.

But its rare to take tissue samples while treating stage 4 breast cancer. This could mean that although treatment has been effective, it hasnt completely destroyed the cancer.

Advances in stage 4 breast cancer treatments are helping to increase the length of remission.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates In Men

Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.

Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor about how these numbers may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.

There are a number of factors that affect breast cancer prognosis. These include:

  • the type of breast cancer
  • the grade of the breast cancer
  • the size of the breast cancer

For more information see our booklet Understanding your pathology results or visit our pathology report page.

Other factors that may affect your prognosis include your age, menopausal status , lifestyle factors and your general health.

All of these factors will be considered when estimating your prognosis and deciding what treatment youre offered.

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Risk Of Breast Cancer Across Different Ages

The risk of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 7. The majority of breast cancer cases, about 80%, occur in women over the age of 50.

But breast cancer still occurs in young women, with close to 1000 women under the age of 40 projected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2022.

Where Do These Numbers Come From

Understanding Breast Cancer Survival Rates

The American Cancer Society relies on information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.

The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:

  • Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast.
  • Regional: The cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
  • Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones.

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How Are Cancer Survival Rates Used

Survival statistics may be used to:

Understand your prognosis

The experience of other people in the same situation can give you and your doctor an idea of your prognosis. There may be a good chance your cancer can be treated, considering your overall health and age.

Develop a treatment plan

You also can compare how others responded to treatment with the same type of cancer. This is vital information for you and a doctor to discuss however, no two people will react exactly the same! It is essential to address the treatment plan it is imperative that you choose a regimen that is best for your individual situation.

Importance Of Regular Screenings For Breast Cancer

Regular screening can also help improve survival rates by ensuring that breast cancer is detected and treated early.

A 2021 study reported that Black and Hispanic women actually met U.S Preventative Services Task Force breast cancer screening guidelines at a higher rate than white women.

However, the study also highlighted that not meeting the guidelines was associated with socioeconomic factors like lower income and lack of access to health insurance. Overall, public health agencies are trying to ensure that all women are able to receive timely screening and treatment.

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What Affects Prognosis

There are a number of factors that affect breast cancer prognosis. These include:

  • the type of breast cancer
  • the grade of the breast cancer
  • the size of the breast cancer

For more information see our booklet Understanding your pathology results or visit our pathology report page.

Other factors that may affect your prognosis include your age, menopausal status , lifestyle factors and your general health.

All of these factors will be considered when estimating your prognosis and deciding what treatment youre offered.

From Cured To Stage 4

Paving the Way for Cancer Breakthroughs

Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.

Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.

âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â

In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.

âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â

Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.

âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â

And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.

The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.

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What Is The Chance I Could Die In The Next 5 Years

The average 5-year survival rate for all people with breast cancer is 89%. The 10-year rate is 83%, and the 15-year rate is 78%. If the cancer is located only in the breast , the 5-year survival rate is 99%. More than 70% of breast cancers are diagnosed at an Early Stage.

All survival statistics are primarily based on the stage of breast cancer when diagnosed. Some of the other important factors are also listed below that affect survival.

Stage 0 breast cancer can be also described as a pre-cancer. If you have DCIS you can be quite confident you will do well. DCIS does not spread to other organs. What can be concerning is when an invasive cancer grows back in the area of a prior lumpectomy for DCIS. This type of local recurrence does carry a risk to your life. Luckily, this does not happen frequently. Also, be aware that those who have had DCIS in the past are at a higher risk for developing an entirely new, invasive breast cancer. Take our video lesson on Non-Invasive DCIS to learn more.

Stage I invasive breast cancer has an excellent survival rate. The chance of dying of Stage I breast cancer within five years of diagnosis is 1 to 5% if you pursue recommended treatments.

Stage II breast cancer is also considered an early stage of breast cancer. There is a slightly increased risk to your life versus a Stage I breast cancer. Altogether, the risk of Stage II breast cancer threatening your life in the next 5 years is about 15%.

Interactive Statistics With Seer*explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can…

  • Create custom graphs and tables

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

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How Is Tnbc Diagnosed

Imaging tests are usually the first tests done:

  • Mammography, the most common screening tool for breast cancer, uses X-rays to take images of the breast and can uncover tumors that may be too small to feel.
  • MRI uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to make detailed images of the breast with a much greater resolution than a mammogram offers.

The next step is a biopsy to remove a sample of suspicious cells from the breast to analyze them. Techniques include:

The appropriate type of biopsy for you depends on factors such as the size and location of the tumor. You may also have a biopsy of your underarm lymph nodes at the same time to see if any cancer is there.

Breast cancer treatment: The care you need is one call away

Your multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your breast cancer in a way that fits your individual needs and goals.

Relative Survival Rate By Stage

Breast Cancer Survival Rate

The survival rates by stage are based on the stage at the time of diagnosis. Youâve probably been given a number and letter for your cancer stage. Here, the terms localized, regional, and distant are used instead of numbers and letters. Hereâs what they mean and the 5-year relative survival rates for each:

  • Localized breast cancer is only in the breast. This includes stage IA , some IIA , and some IIB . The 5-year relative survival rate is 99%.
  • Regional breast cancer has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes. This includes stage IB , some IIA , some IIB , and all stage III . The 5-year relative survival rate is 86%.
  • Distant breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This includes stage IV, pronounced âstage 4â). The 5-year relative survival rate is 28%.

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Survival Rates For Breast Cancer

Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.

Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor, who is familiar with your situation, about how these numbers may apply to you.

Things Women Should Know About Breast Cancer

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If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.

Everyone knows someonea family member, friend, colleague, or neighborthat has battled breast cancer. In 2021 alone, about 281,000 women will receive an invasive breast cancer diagnosis, along with 50,000 women who will be diagnosed with a non-invasive form of the disease.

While men can also get it, the chance of a woman developing breast cancer is much higher. Whether you’re approaching your first annual screening or you have a family history, understanding the signs, types, and prevention strategies can help you put your health first. Here’s what you need to know this breast cancer awareness month.

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Survival Rates By Stage

Breast cancer survival rates compare the number of women with breast cancer to the number of women in the overall population to estimate the amount of time women with breast cancer are likely to live after theyre diagnosed.

For example, if the survival rate for a stage of breast cancer during a 5-year period is 90 percent, it means that women diagnosed with that cancer are 90 percent as likely to survive for 5 years following their diagnosis as women who do not have the cancer.

As we mentioned earlier, survival rates are based on information from the SEER database, which the NCI maintains.

SEER does not group breast cancers by stages 0 through 4. Instead, it groups them by the following stages:

  • localized: when the cancer has not spread outside of the breast
  • regional: when its spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes
  • distant: when its spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones

It should be noted that theres a substantial racial disparity gap in survival rates between white women and Women of Color, especially for late-stage breast cancer diagnoses. The chart below, courtesy of the

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What Is Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Survival: Statistics and Facts

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer.

Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. These cells grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon in men. Transwomen, non-binary people can also get breast cancer.

Transgender and gender-diverse people can also get breast cancer. A transgender woman taking medication to lower male hormones and boost female hormones may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

It is estimated that 19,866 women and 164 men in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021.

In Australia, the overall five year survival rate for breast cancer in females is 91%. If the cancer is limited to the breast, 96% of patients will be alive five years after diagnosis this figure excludes those who die from other diseases. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, five year relative survival drops to 80%.

Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer.

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