Inoperable Breast Cancer Is Often Still Treatable
Stage 3C breast cancer is divided into operable and inoperable stage 3C breast cancer. However, the term inoperable is not the same as untreatable.
If your physician uses the word inoperable, it may simply mean that a simple surgery at this time would not be enough to get rid of all the breast cancer that is within the breast and the tissue around the breast. There must be healthy tissue at all of the margins of the breast when it is removed. Keep in mind that the breast tissue goes beyond the breast mound it goes up to the clavicle and down to a few inches below the breast mound. There must also be tissue to close the chest wound after the surgery is performed.
Another treatment method may be used first to shrink the breast cancer as much as possible before surgery is considered.
Survival Rates And Mortality Rates
Survival depends on mortality. You start with 100 percent of the people in the group.
100 percent mortality rate = survival rate
Say, the mortality rate in the group of people is 5 percent. Survival would be 95 percent .
Similarly, the number of people in a group who survive depends on the number of people who die. Say, 500 people are in the group and 1 person dies. This means 499 people survived .
What Are Cancer Survival Statistics
A key part of making a prognosis is looking at survival rates. These are numbers researchers collect over many years in people with the same type of cancer. These numbers are based on large groups of people. For breast cancer, there are two main measurements:
Breast cancer survivalrates reflect the percentage of women who are alive 5 years or longer after their diagnosis. This means the numbers are based on women who were found to have breast cancer at least 5 years ago. Advances in diagnosing and treating cancer have led to steadily improving survival rates, so the outlook for women diagnosed today is likely better.
Relative survival rates donât take into account the cause of death. Theyâre a measure of the percentage of people with cancer who have lived for a certain time after diagnosis, compared with people who did not have cancer.
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Understanding Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Prognosis varies by stage of breast cancer.
Non-invasive and early-stage invasive breast cancers have a better prognosis than later stage cancers .
Breast cancer thats only in the breast and has not spread to the lymph nodes has a better prognosis than breast cancer thats spread to the lymph nodes.
The poorest prognosis is for metastatic breast cancer . This is when the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
Learn more about breast cancer treatment.
Survival Rates Of Stage 3 Breast Cancer
According to data from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, breast cancer survival rates have improved significantly over time due to earlier detection and improved treatment options. In general, the earlier the breast cancer is first diagnosed, the better the outcome. The current 5-year relative survival rate of women first diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer is 80.6%.
Although survival rates can provide an estimate of what percentage of patients with the same stage of breast cancer are alive after a certain period of time , they cannot predict how long any specific individual with breast cancer will live. The length of survival varies from person to person. Factors that influence this include:
- Response to treatment
- The type of breast cancer that you have
- The rate of tumour growth
- Other factors such as your age, medical history and overall health
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You will have lots of questions about your cancer, starting with your diagnosis. Here are some basic questions you might ask:
- What is triple negative breast cancer?
- How do you know my cancer is triple negative breast cancer?
- Why did I get this cancer?
- Do I need genetic testing?
- Has my breast cancer spread, and if so, how far has it spread?
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- What is my prognosis or expected outcome?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- Why do you recommend those treatments?
- What are those treatment side effects?
- Will I need surgery? If so, what surgery do you recommend and why?
- Im interested in participating in clinical trials. Are you able to help me find one?
- Do you know if there are any local support groups?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Triple negative breast cancer is one of the more challenging breast cancers to treat. You might be discouraged by what you have read about triple negative breast cancer. But there are a number of very effective treatments for triple negative breast cancer, including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. And every day researchers learn more about this rare cancer. Their knowledge is your power. If youre concerned you arent getting the straight story about your cancer, ask your healthcare provider to walk you through your diagnosis and treatment options.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Her2
- What are my treatment options?
- What is the best course of treatment for my cancer, and why?
- Whats the overall goal of treatment in my case?
- When should I start treatment?
- Can I still work and manage my regular activities during this time?
- How often will I be coming in to see you for treatment?
- Will I be coming here for all my visits and treatments, or going elsewhere?
- What short-term side effects and long-term risks are associated with my treatment?
- What are the next steps if the desired treatment doesnt work?
- How likely is it for my cancer to come back in the future? What symptoms should I be aware of?
- What is the cost of my treatment?
- What should I discuss with my insurance company?
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What Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Also called locally advanced breast cancer, stage 3 breast cancer is a more advanced form of invasive breast cancer. Cancer cells have spread from the milk ducts into the nearby lymph nodes, the skin of the breast, or the chest wall.
Stage 3 breast cancer may further be classified into substages stage 3A, 3B, and 3C depending on the size of the breast tumor and the extent of the cancer spread. Notably, breast cancer stages are sometimes referred to using Roman numerals, such as stage III instead of stage 3.
A Disease No One Gets
Sadly, people donât âgetâ mets. In fact, a recent survey sponsored by Pfizer Oncology shows just how misunderstood it is. Sixty percent of the 2,000 people surveyed knew little to nothing about MBC while 72 percent believed advanced breast cancer was curable as long as it was diagnosed early. Even more disheartening, a full 50 percent thought breast cancer progressed because patients either didnât take the right treatment or the right preventive measures.
âTheyâve built an industry built on four words â early detection equals cure â and that doesnât even begin to define breast cancer,â said Schoger, who helped found Breast Cancer Social Media, a virtual community for breast cancer patients, caregivers, surgeons, oncologists and others. âWomen are blamed for the fate of bad biology.â
The MBC Alliance, a consortium of 29 cancer organizations including the biggest names in breast cancer , addressed this lack of understanding and support as well as what many patient advocates term the underfunding of MBC research in a recently published landmark report.
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Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Survival rates of breast cancer patients alter and it would depend upon the phase of the cancer you are presently going through. What is this rate all about? You will be able to distinguish the breast cancer survival rates in a lot of methods such as:
1. Time abreast of diagnosing, a patient is rendered 5-10 years to live on.2. Return there are moment when return of the cancer happens after the cancer cells were previously removed.3. Dying risk as equated to others with the identical health precondition.
Survival rate is normally classified established upon the breast cancer phases. Phase 0 signifies that the cancer is even so noninvasive. The cancerous cells could just be detected in the walls of the swelling or mass within the breast.
As you progress to Stage 1, the tumor gets already developed approximately 1 inch long and it represents to be regarded fast-growing. Phase 2A occurs as the tumor is already 1 to 2 inches extended.
The phase 2B relates to tumors approximately 1 inch stressed just a few of the secondary lymph nodes are already stricken. As the tumor extends to preceding 2 inches and has already affected the lymph nodes, it is already classed as phase 3A of cancer and as the tumor encroaches upon the skin of the breasts, the breast cancer is in phase 3B. The elevated breast cancer is categorized below phase 4 wherein additional organs of the physical structure are already contaminated with the cancer cells.
How Is Breast Cancer Stage Determined
Breast cancer is staged using the TNM staging system, where TNM stands for tumor, node, metastasis. The system looks at the following:
- Tumor How large is the primary tumor?
- Node Are there cancer cells in nearby or distant lymph nodes?
- Metastasis Has the cancer metastasized to other parts of the body?
A higher degree of cancer spread corresponds to more advanced-stage disease. Understanding the nature of the disease and determining the best treatment options also requires additional information, such as:
- Hormone receptor status Does the cancer contain estrogen receptors or progesterone receptors , which are types of proteins?
- Tumor grade How do the abnormal cancer cells look compared to the normal cells?
- Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status How high are your levels of the protein HER2?
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What Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Triple negative breast cancer is a rare cancer that affects about 13 in 100,000 women each year. It represents about 15 % of all invasive breast cancers. Triple negative breast cancer is one of three types of breast cancer. It is called as triple negative because it doesnt have three markers associated with other types of breast cancer, which is important for prognosis and treatment. Its one of the more challenging breast cancers to treat. But researchers are making steady progress toward more effective treatments. Overall, 77% of women who have triple negative breast cancer are alive five years after diagnosis.
How Life Expectancy And Relapse Differ From Positive Tumors
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Questions about the survival rate and recurrence rate are very common when someone is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. While prognosis is, on average, poorer than with hormone receptor or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive tumors, triple-negative breast cancer is a very diverse disease.
On a positive note, and unlike hormone-positive tumors that commonly recur late , late recurrence is less common with triple-negative tumors. The recent approval of immunotherapy only for triple-negative disease is also optimistic.
This article looks at factors that may affect survival or recurrence of triple-negative breast cancer, as well as the statistical rates of both. It also discusses life expectancy with stage 4 and recent case reports of some longtime survivors.
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Living With Stage : The Breast Cancer No One Understands
Editor’s note: We’re bringing back this piece from October 2014 for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day and to honor Jody Schoger, featured in the story. Schoger died of metastatic breast cancer in May. Want to learn more about MBC? Look for our tweets at the Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference this Saturday at Fred Hutch.
A no-nonsense Texan of 60 years, Jody Schoger* has a very no-nonsense way of educating people about her metastatic breast cancer.
âSomeone will say, âWhen are you done with treatment?â and Iâll tell them, âWhen Iâm dead,ââ said Schoger, a writer and cancer advocate who lives near Houston. âSo many people interpret survivorship as going across the board. That everybody survives cancer now. But everybody does not survive cancer.â
An estimated 155,000-plus women in the U.S. currently live with âmets,â or metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer, also called stage 4 breast cancer, means the cancer has metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brain, bones and/or other parts of the body. Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast but not to distant sites. The cancer is typically in nearby lymph nodes or skin.
Stage 3 breast cancer is typically harder to treat than earlier stages. This, however, ultimately depends on several factors, including:
- hormone receptivity
A doctor can help a person better understand the stage of cancer and how that will affect treatment options and their outlook.
Healthcare professionals distinguish between the following stages of stage 3 breast cancer:
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What Is A 5
A relative survival rate compares women with the same type and stage of breast cancer to women in the overall population.For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer is 90%, it means that women who have that cancer are, on average, about 90% as likely as women who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.
Clinical Trials For Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Because of how severe stage 4 breast cancer often is, many treatment options are not as effective as they are in early stages. Many advanced cancer patients turn to clinical trials to seek new treatments. Clinical trials. Before therapies for cancer can be approved by the FDA and are considered standard of care, they need to go through several phases of clinical trials to ensure they are both safe for patients and effective at treating their disease.
Clinical trials are also available for patients of other stages. However, there are fewer available therapies as the disease progresses, so clinical trials are sometimes viewed as the last stage treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer clinical trials offer the latest drugs in cancer research that target the genetic makeup of the tumor, which can lead to fewer side effects and improved responses to therapies.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Her2
Its not possible to self-determine whether you have HER2-positive breast cancer. If your doctor suspects cancer, further testing will reveal whether you are HER2-positive.
Overall, its important to see your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- any new or changing lumps in your breast or armpit areas
- clear, colored, or bloody nipple discharge
- unexplained pain in your breasts
- changes in your nipples or breast skin, such as dimpling, reddening, or scaliness
- nipples that turn inward
Hormone treatments may be an option for cancer thats also HR-positive.
What Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Also known as metastatic breast cancer, the cancer in this stage has spread beyond the breast, underarm and internal mammary lymph nodes to other parts of the body near to or distant from the breast. The cancer has spread elsewhere in the body. The affected areas may include the bones, brain, lungs or liver and more than one part of the body may be involved.
At stage 4, TNM designations help describe the extent of the disease. Higher numbers indicate more extensive disease. Most commonly, stage 4 breast cancer is described as:,
- T: T1, T2, T3 or T4 depends on the size and/or extent of the primary tumor.
- N1: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- M1: The disease has spread to other sites in the body.
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Factors That Affect Outlook
When considering your outlook, your doctor must analyze many other factors as well. Among them are:
- Stage at diagnosis. Your outlook is better when the breast cancer hasnt spread outside the breast or has spread only regionally at the start of treatment. Metastatic breast cancer, which is cancer that has spread to distant areas of the body, is harder to treat.
- Size and grade of primary tumor. This indicates how aggressive the cancer is.
- Lymph node involvement. Cancer can spread from the lymph nodes to distant organs and tissues.
- HR status and HER2 status. Targeted therapies can be used for HR-positive and HER2-positive breast cancers.
- Overall health. Other health issues you may have may complicate treatment.
- Response to therapy. Its hard to predict whether a particular therapy will be effective or produce intolerable side effects.
- Age. Younger women and those over age 75 may have a worse outlook than middle-aged women, except for those with stage 3 breast cancer, according to a .
Immune And Excretory Systems
In the later stages of breast cancer, the tumors have spread to other lymph nodes. The underarms are some of the first affected areas. This is because of how close they are to the breasts. You may feel tenderness and swelling under your arms.
Other lymph nodes can become affected because of the lymphatic system. While this system is usually responsible for transmitting healthy lymph throughout the body, it can also spread cancer tumors.
Tumors may spread through the lymphatic system to the lungs and liver. If the lungs are affected, you might experience:
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