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Breast Cancer Types And Survival Rates

Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage And Age

Understanding Breast Cancer Survival Rates

The relative 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 92%. This means that those who have breast cancer are, on average, 92% as likely as those who dont have the disease to live for at least 5 years after their diagnosis. The survival rate is an estimate across the population, and an individuals chance of survival is dependent on their specific characteristics and the nature of the tumour, such as the stage of the breast cancer at diagnosis, the age, gender and the subtype of the breast cancer .

The 5-year survival rate for Stage 1 breast cancer is, on average, 100% and Stage 2 is 95%. For locally advanced cancers the survival rate is 81%, while the 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 is significantly lower at 32%.

The 5-year survival rate also differs depending on the age group. For those aged over 85, the 5-year survival rate is 75%, while for those between 40 and 44 years of age it is 93%.

While the 5-year survival rate post-diagnosis is 92%, the survival rate 10 years after diagnosis of breast cancer is 86%.

Where Do These Numbers Come From

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.

Oncogene Expression May Negatively Affect Breast Cancer Outcome

A relatively new addition to the discussion of breast cancer survival statistics and prognosis is oncogene expression.

An oncogene is a tiny fragment of genetic material which is carried in a chromosome and can cause normal cells to become malignant.

The oncogene HER-2, in particular, has been linked to more aggressive breast cancers.

Around one-third of all breast tumours produce the HER-2 oncogene, and these patients tend to have higher rates of recurrence and lower overall breast cancer survival rates.

According to a 2013 Canadian scientific study, the overall 5-year survival rate of HER-2 positive breast cancer is 88.6%. Furthermore, the relapse-free survival rate for 5 years is 79.4%.

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Rare Types Of Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: or, IBC. IBC is a rare type of breast cancer that often begins in the soft tissues of the breast, and causes the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast to become blocked. As a result, the breast may become firm, tender, itchy, red, and warm due to increased blood flow, and a build up of white blood cells. This type of cancer is distinct from other types, with major differences in symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.

The term inflammatory only refers to the appearance of the breasts. When breasts become inflamed due to an infection or injury, they often become tender, swollen, red and itchy. However, the underlying cause of IBC is unrelated to inflammation.

Because of the similarities in symptoms, IBC may at first be diagnosed as a breast infection, such as mastitis. Although antibiotics will resolve a breast infection, they cannot treat IBC. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics and your symptoms do not resolve in seven to 10 days, this may be a crucial sign that you have IBC.

IBC tends to grow quickly and aggressively, and is typically diagnosed when it is already in an advanced stage, most often stage IIIB or stage IV. Treatment of inflammatory breast cancer includes chemotherapy, followed by breast conserving surgery, or a total mastectomy, and radiation therapy. Additional therapy, such as hormone therapy and additional chemotherapy may also be given.

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Breast Cancer Survival: Statistics and Facts

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%.

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Prognostic And Predictive Factors

Numerous prognostic and predictive factors for breast cancer have been identified by the College of American Pathologists to guide the clinical management of women with breast cancer. Breast cancer prognostic factors include the following:

  • Axillary lymph node status
  • Histologic subtypes
  • Response to neoadjuvant therapy
  • Estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor status
  • HER2 gene amplification or overexpression

Cancerous involvement of the lymph nodes in the axilla is an indication of the likelihood that the breast cancer has spread to other organs. Survival and recurrence are independent of level of involvement but are directly related to the number of involved nodes.

Patients with node-negative disease have an overall 10-year survival rate of 70% and a 5-year recurrence rate of 19%. In patients with lymph nodes that are positive for cancer, the recurrence rates at 5 years are as follows:

  • One to three positive nodes 30-40%
  • Four to nine positive nodes 44-70%
  • 10 positive nodes 72-82%

Hormone receptorpositive tumors generally have a more indolent course and are responsive to hormone therapy. ER and PR assays are routinely performed on tumor material by pathologists immunohistochemistry is a semiquantitative technique that is observer- and antibody-dependent.

Types Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs in two broad categories: invasive and noninvasive.

Invasive Breast Cancer: Also called infiltrating breast cancer, invasive breast cancer is when cancerous cells break through normal breast tissue barriers and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymph nodes.

Noninvasive Breast Cancer: Also called in situ breast cancer, is when cancerous cells remain in a particular location of the breast without spreading to surrounding tissue, lobules or ducts.

Breast Cancer is also classified based on where in the breast the disease started, how the disease grows, and other factors. Below, we’ll explore common breast cancer types, common subtypes, and rare types. Other types of breast cancer include sarcoma of the breast, metaplastic carcinoma, adenocystic carcinoma, phyllodes tumor, and angiosarcoma. Genetic research has also led to a more specific classification of breast cancers that are based on their genes and proteins. For example, 60% of breast cancers are estrogen positive, while 20% are HER2 positive, and another 20% are triple negative.

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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.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Explained

With this type of breast cancer, the breast cancer cells dont have ER+ or PR+ receptors. They dont overproduce the HER2 protein, so hormone therapy isnt very effective.

Instead, triple negative stage 4 breast cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be an option, depending on the site of metastasis.

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Prognosis For Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer isnt the same for everyone who has it. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, your symptoms at stage 4 will depend on the degree to which the cancer has spread in your body.

Although metastatic breast cancer has no current cure, it can be treated. Getting the right treatment can increase both your quality of life and longevity.

Life expectancy for breast cancer is based on studies of many people with the condition. These statistics cant predict your personal outcome each persons outlook is different.

The following factors can affect your life expectancy with metastatic breast cancer:

Breast Cancer Survival Rates For All Types Of Breast Cancers

Breast cancer survival rates and prognosis are determined by so many different factors that it is always difficult to make generalizations.

NOTE: this page has been recently updated with the most up-to-date statistics. Prognosis has improved so much because breast cancer treatments have become more effective since this page was first created. Remember that survival is better than listed here. Most importantly, ask your oncologist and specialist team, who keep current with the latest statistics and best treatments.

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Why Do Cancer Survival Rates Vary Across Countries

Several factors influence survival after a diagnosis of cancer. The most common factors are the type of cancer diagnosed, available treatment, and the stage at which cancer is diagnosed and the onset of treatment. Generally, earlier detection of cancer is associated with improved outcomes and survival.

Over the last few decades, advances in screening programmes and treatments have improved the rates for some site-specific cancers. However, healthcare systems differ between countries, and disparities in access to healthcare exist within countries. Both factors contribute to differences in survival rates. Although there is some variation in survival rates between high-income countries, generally, lower income countries have lower survival rates.

There is a growing body of research on the links between diet, nutrition and physical activity and cancer survival. Our Global Cancer Update Programme the worlds largest source of scientific research on cancer prevention and survivorship through diet, nutrition and physical activity found some, though limited, evidence that being a healthy weight, being physically active, and following a healthy diet may improve survival after breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Are Affected By Tumor Grade

Five year survival rates by cancer type

Breast cancer grade refers to the size and shape of the malignant breast cancer cells. If the breast cancer cells look very different than normal breast tissue cells, and somewhat random in appearance, they are called poorly differentiated and described as high grade.

There are three main breast cancer grades and these are as follows:-

  • Grade 1: The cancer cells are well differentiated and look the most like normal cells. These type of cancers tend to be slow-growing.
  • Grade 2: These cancer cells are moderately differentiated. This means that the cells look less like normal cells and tend to grow faster.
  • Grade 3: Poorly differentiated cells do not appear like normal cells at all and tend to be very fast growing. Hence, the affect on prognosis.

Microscopic Images of Ductal cell carcinoma in Situ Grades 1, 2 and 3

Higher grade breast cancers tend to have a poorer prognosis.

You will be able to find the Grade of your tumor on your pathology report.

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Types Of Stage 3 Breast Cancer

These days, people with breast cancer can know more about the tumor than ever before.

In addition to staging, oncologists can now determine a tumors grade and subtype. This information helps the doctor describe the tumor and cancer stage in a more detailed way so that other members of the care team can understand the cancer better.

The tumor grade and subtype of breast cancer can vary between people. Most doctors will test tumors to determine which genes they express, so that treatment options can adapt to the results.

Doctors define different types of stage 3 breast cancer by:

  • Tumor grade: This is a measurement of how much the cancer cells differ from healthy cells under a microscope. This also provides a measure of how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow.
  • ER status: This describes whether the cancer cells have receptors for the hormone estrogen.
  • PR status: This indicates whether the cancer cells have receptors for the hormone progesterone.
  • HER2 status: This describes whether the cancer cells are making the HER2 protein.

Stage 4 Survival Rates

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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A Note About Sex And Gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .

An individuals life expectancy depends on various factors besides the cancer stage.

Some life expectancy measures assess the size of present tumors and how far the cancer cells have spread. However, advancements in tumor biology have changed life expectancy calculations.

What Is A 5

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Explained

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.

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Survival Statistics For Breast Cancer

Survival statistics for breast cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular persons chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for breast cancer and what they mean to you.

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 .

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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.

Will I Die Of Breast Cancer

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This is a difficult question to answer early in your cancer care but it is still worth asking. Many people just diagnosed with cancer have no idea how much of a risk to their life their unique situation poses. Most breast cancers carry a low risk of recurrence, especially early-stage cancers. The answer is usually reassuring.

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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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