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How Dangerous Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer

Four Stages Of The Disease

Breast Cancer Awareness: Radiation Therapy

There are 4 breast cancer stages. Stage 1 breast cancer is a single tumor up to 2 cm in size, which has no regional metastases. They are located in lymph nodes, in close proximity to the affected organ in the armpit fossa. Can you die from stage 1 breast cancer? Highly unlikely! For first stage breast cancer, survival rate averages 95% and reaches 100% in some developed European countries. Those numbers also answer the which cancer is the most curable question. The most important thing here is to contact a specialist after noticing the first signs of the disease.

Stage 2 breast cancer is a small tumor, up to 2 cm or slightly larger, but often with single metastasis in the armpit fossa. The more cancer that is in the body, the more actively its harmful cells travel through the body. If stage one and stage zero are considered to be almost safe and can be easily cured, then from stage two onwards, the treatment will differ in its intensity and the measures used. At this stage, the probability of positive treatment is 60-70%. The main priority is timeliness and the use of progressive treatment methods. In the case of remote metastases being present, the situation and treatment can slightly aggravate the effectiveness of progress.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Are Affected By Tumor Grade

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.

Additional Types Of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma:

There are four types of invasive ductal carcinoma that are less common:

  • Medullary Ductal Carcinoma This type of cancer is rare and only three to five percent of breast cancers are diagnosed as medullary ductal carcinoma. The tumor usually shows up on a mammogram and it does not always feel like a lump rather it can feel like a spongy change of breast tissue.
  • Mucinous Ductal Carcinoma This occurs when cancer cells within the breast produce mucous, which also contains breast cancer cells. The cells and mucous combine to form a tumor. Pure mucinous ductal carcinoma carries a better prognosis than more common types of IDCs.
  • Papillary Carcinoma This is a very good prognosis breast cancer that primarily occur in women over the age of 60.
  • Tubular Ductal Carcinoma This is a rare diagnosis of IDC, making up only two percent of diagnoses of breast cancer. The name comes from how the cancer looks under the microscope like hundreds of tiny tubes. Tubular breast cancer has an excellent prognosis.
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How Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Diagnosed

Same Day Results

At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, we know how quickly patients want results from a biopsy or scan if there is a suspicion of breast cancer. We follow strict guidelines for biopsies and pathology reports. Most of our patients will receive the probability of cancer immediately following their biopsy procedure and a pathology confirmation within 24 hours.

Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:

  • Digital mammography
  • Biologic targeted therapy

Survival And Mortality Rates

Fundraiser by Angela Woodard : Help Melinda Fight Stage 3 ...

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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How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence

Healthcare providers dont know why some people experience breast cancer recurrence. A recurrence isnt your fault. You didnt do anything wrong to cause it or fail to do something more to prevent it.

Certain medications may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in people who have early stage breast cancer. For estrogen-receptive breast cancer, hormonal therapies including tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors block either the activity of estrogen or the bodys production of estrogen. Chemotherapy may also be recommended to reduce risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Early diagnosis may make it easier to treat a recurrence. Follow your healthcare providers recommendations for mammograms and other screenings. You should also perform regular breast self-exams. Get familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can see your provider quickly if you notice changes. And remember that most breast changes occur for reasons other than cancer.

Drug Treatment Before Surgery

You might have chemotherapy as a first treatment to shrink the cancer down.

You might have hormone therapy first if your cancer cells have hormone receptors. But you usually only have this if chemotherapy isnt suitable.

If your cancer cells have particular proteins called HER2 receptors you might also have a targeted cancer drug called trastuzumab .

These treatments might shrink the tumour enough to allow your surgeon to remove just the area of cancer. This is called breast conserving surgery or a wide local excision.

If the cancer doesnt shrink enough, you need to have the whole breast removed . You may be able to have a new breast made . Do speak to your surgeon about this.

Before your surgery the lymph nodes in the armpit are checked for cancer cells.

You usually have radiotherapy to the breast after surgery.

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How Long Can You Live With Stage 3 Cancer

The five-year relative survival rate for these three types of tumors is 44 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection generally results in a better outlook. When diagnosed and treated in stage 1, the five-year relative survival rate is 92 percent.Outlook by stage.StageSurvival Rate365%435%2 more rows

What Is The Life Expectancy For Stage 3 Breast Cancer

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The life expectancy for people with breast cancer is improving, according to the American Cancer Society. It points out that current survival rates are based on people who were diagnosed and treated at least 5 years ago and treatments have advanced over that time.

Your life expectancy with stage 3 breast cancer depends on several factors, such as:

  • your age
  • the size of the tumors

You should talk with your doctor about how these factors may apply to you.

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T Categories For Breast Cancer

T followed by a number from 0 to 4 describes the main tumor’s size and if it has spread to the skin or to the chest wall under the breast. Higher T numbers mean a larger tumor and/or wider spread to tissues near the breast.

TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed.

T0: No evidence of primary tumor.

Tis: Carcinoma in situ

T1 : Tumor is 2 cm or less across.

T2: Tumor is more than 2 cm but not more than 5 cm across.

T3: Tumor is more than 5 cm across.

T4 : Tumor of any size growing into the chest wall or skin. This includes inflammatory breast cancer.

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:

  • chronic cough

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Breast Cancer Survival Rates

The overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is 90%. This means 90 out of 100 women are alive 5 years after theyve been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The 10-year breast cancer relative survival rate is 84% . The invasive 15-year breast cancer relative survival rate is 80% .

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

Stages of Breast Cancer

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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What Is Stage Ii Breast Cancer

Stage II describes cancer that is in a limited region of the breast but has grown larger. It reflects how many lymph nodes may contain cancer cells. This stage is divided into two subcategories.

Stage IIA is based on one of the following:

  • Either there is no tumor in the breast or there is a breast tumor up to 20 millimeters , plus cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, but cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IIB is based on one of these criteria:

  • A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, along with cancer that has spread to between one and three nearby lymph nodes.
  • A tumor in the breast is larger than 50 millimeters, but cancer has not spread to any lymph nodes.

Bc Death By Ihc Subtype Grade And Ptn Status

To assess the independent contribution of each factor to breast cancer death, we stratified by all three variables IHC subtype, grade and pTN status in models adjusted for age, year and surgery type . Among ER+ subtypes, an increasing grade was associated with increased mortality in all subtypes and levels of pTN status. Larger tumour size and positive nodal status were consistently associated with increased mortality in all ER+ subtypes and levels of grade, and larger size was associated with increased mortality also among node-negative tumours . Among small tumours with no nodal spread, ER+PRHER2 subtype of grade III was associated with a particularly high mortality and of similar magnitude to TNBC grade III tumours . Women with larger tumours and any nodal spread had the highest mortality although numbers were low for this group. Among ER subtypes, high-grade tumours were associated with higher mortality than intermediate-grade tumours for pT1pN0 tumours, while for other pTN status the mortality rates were similarly elevated for intermediate- and high-grade tumours.

Table 2 Adjusted hazard ratios for breast cancer death by IHC subtypes, grade and pTN

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Age At The Time Of Diagnosis Affects Breast Cancer Survival Rates

It has always been known that curiously, young women have a poorer prognosis than older ones

Indeed, one cohort study examined 4,453 women with breast cancer between 1961 and 1991 who were all treated at the same center.

This study found that both ends of the age spectrum fared less well. So, women under the age of 40 years at diagnosis and those over 80 years had a statistically poorer prognosis.

However, for younger women, this may be due to the fact that they often present with higher-grade tumors that tend to be more aggressive and less likely to be hormone receptor-positive. This means that breast cancer may not respond as well to treatment.

So, it is important to bear in mind other factors discussed in this post, such as stage, grade and hormone receptor status play an important role in prognosis.

Checking The Lymph Nodes

What Are the Stages of Breast Cancer?

Before your treatment you have an ultrasound scan to check the lymph nodes in the armpit close to the breast. This is to see if they contain cancer cells. If breast cancer spreads, it usually first spreads to the lymph nodes close to the breast.

Depending on the results of your scan you might have:

  • a sentinel lymph node biopsy during your breast cancer operation
  • surgery to remove your lymph nodes

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What Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer

Also known as locally advanced breast cancer, the tumor in this stage of breast cancer is more than 2 inches in diameter across and the cancer is extensive in the underarm lymph nodes or has spread to other lymph nodes or tissues near the breast. Stage 3 breast cancer is a more advanced form of invasive breast cancer. At this stage, the cancer cells have usually not spread to more distant sites in the body, but they are present in several axillary lymph nodes. The tumor may also be quite large at this stage, possibly extending to the chest wall or the skin of the breast.

Stage 3 breast cancer is divided into three categories:

Stage 3A: One of the following is true:

  • No tumor is found in the breast, but cancer is present in axillary lymph nodes that are attached to either other or other structures, or cancer may be found in the lymph nodes near the breast bone, or
  • The tumor is 2 cm or smaller. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are attached to each other or other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone, or
  • The tumor is 2 cm to 4 cm in size. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breast bone, or
  • The tumor is larger than 5 cm. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that may be attached to each other or to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage 3C:

Types Of Breast Cancer

There are several types of breast cancer, and theyre broken into two main categories: invasive and noninvasive, or in situ.

While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.

These two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and havent invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ. Lobular carcinoma in situ is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells havent invaded the surrounding tissue.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breasts milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive lobular carcinoma first develops in your breasts lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.

Other, less common types of breast cancer include:

The type of cancer you have determines your treatment options, as well as your likely long-term outcome.

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Certain Breast Cancer Subtypes Have A Better Statistical Prognosis

In general, tubular, mucinous and medullary breast carcinomas have a better prognosis than the other sub-types.

The table below gives a very general approximation of the survival rates that may be associated with the different breast cancer subtypes.

However, please bear in mind that these figures are a rough generalization only and survival will always be determined by the individual characteristics of each breast cancer and each patient.

Nonetheless, the relative aggressiveness of the different breast cancer subtypes can be interpreted from the table.

and is almost always near 100% curable.)

breast cancer sub-type
Inflammatory breast carcinoma 65% 35%

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