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How Long Can You Live With Stage 2 Breast Cancer

For Family And Friends

Stage 3 Breast Cancer Definition

Caring for a loved one with stage 4 breast cancer has special challenges as well. Fortunately, organizations such as CancerCare now offer support groups design for loved ones who are caring for someone with cancer. In addition to caring for yourself , it’s helpful to learn about metastatic breast cancer.

Common things that people learn about cancer usually refer to an early-stage disease, and myths about metastatic breast cancer can be painful for those living with advanced disease. For example, one of the things not to say to someone with metastatic breast cancer is “When will you be done with treatment?”

For the most part, people with metastatic breast cancer will require some type of treatment for the rest of their lives.

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 dont take into account the cause of death. Theyre 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.

Surviving Stage 4 Breast Cancer: Is It Possible

Understanding survival rates of stage 4 breast cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute , an estimated 27 percent of people in the United States live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

Many factors can affect your longevity and quality of life. Different subtypes of breast cancer behave differently. Some are more aggressive than others, and some have far fewer treatment options than others. For this reason, your subtype may affect your outlook.

Higher survival rates are also associated with the extent and location of metastasis. In other words, your long-term outlook may be better if your cancer has only spread to your bones than if its found in your bones and lungs.

Immediately seeking treatment, like chemotherapy, surgery, or hormone therapy, can help improve your outlook. Making healthy lifestyle choices might also improve your chances of survival.

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When Is Radiation Usually Used To Treat Stage 2 Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, radiation therapy may be used after a breast-conserving surgery, or lumpectomy, to mitigate the risk of cancer cells recurring in the same breast or nearby lymph nodes. After a mastectomy, an oncologist may determine that radiation is necessary if the tumor was larger than 5 cm, if there was lymph node involvement, or if cancer was found outside of surgical margins.

Prognosis For Metastatic Breast Cancer

How long can one live with stage 2 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:

  • your age

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Racial Inequity And Outlook

Racial inequities may also affect a persons outlook with breast cancer.

For example, in the U.S., the 5-year relative survival rate is around 92% for white women but 83% for Black women.

Inequities in healthcare are likely one reason behind this difference, according to the ACS.

Breast cancer incidence differs with age. Here are the percentages of people with breast cancer who died in the U.S. in 2019, categorized by age:

  • under age 40 years: 3%
  • 4049 years: 8%

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be frightening and overwhelming. However, it is important to get as much information as possible about the cancer itself, the next steps, and the treatment options available.

Stage : Kim Green Has Lived With Metastatic Breast Cancer For Past 19 Years

Kim Green defies the odds for those living with incurable metastatic breast cancer. Her mother died of metastatic breast cancer at 37, but Green has been living with it for 19 years.

Green has endured more than 60 surgeries since she found a lump in her breast when she was 34 and six months pregnant. Doctors got clean margins after performing a lumpectomy. Shortly afterward she gave birth to her son, born prematurely. She began chemo treatments a week after his birth, followed by a bilateral mastectomy.

Yet, four months after treatment ended, she woke up one morning with a tumor on her neck the size of a golf ball.

When cancer spreads from its original source to another part of the body, its metastatic or stage 4 cancer. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, and the median life expectancy is 24 months. The number of metastatic breast cancer patients living longer and well with the disease keeps inching up, doctors say. But ultimately, people die from it.

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People with stage 4 breast cancer live longer because of new and better drugs that prolong the time when people feel good. There have been 15 new drugs in the past 15 years, says Dr. Lajos Pusztai, director of Breast Cancer Translational Research at the Yale Cancer Center and professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

Breast cancer by the numbers »

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Survival Rate With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Many people wonder about the life expectancy for stage 4 breast cancer . It’s important to note that everyone is different and survival rates vary widely. There are some people who survive many years and even decades with stage 4 disease. At the same time, it’s important to understand that stage 4 breast cancer isn’t curable.

It can be helpful to look at current statistics and consider the many variables that affect life expectancy. While it’s important not to raise false hope, it may help to know the reality that there are some long-term survivors.

Some people want to know the statistics, but many don’t. If you’re living with stage 4 breast cancer, there is absolutely no requirement that you know the prognosis. The information provided here is only for those who truly wish to know what the current research iseven this research has many limitations.

What Needs To Be Done After The Person Has Died

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After the person has died, there is no need to hurry with arrangements. Family members and caregivers may wish to sit with the body, to talk, or to pray. When the family is ready, the following steps can be taken.

  • Place the body on its back with one pillow under the head. If necessary, caregivers or family members may wish to put the persons dentures or other artificial parts in place.
  • If the person is in a hospice program, follow the guidelines provided by the program. A caregiver or family member can request a hospice nurse to verify the death.
  • Contact the appropriate authorities in accordance with local regulations. Contact the persons doctor and funeral home.
  • When the patient’s family members are ready, call other family members, friends, and clergy.
  • Provide or obtain emotional support for family members and friends to cope with their loss.
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Survival 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 .

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.

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Breast Cancer Staging Guidelines

The TNM system is the most widely used cancer staging system and looks at the following cancer characteristics:

  • Tumor The size of the tumor and whether it has grown into nearby tissue.
  • Node Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. And if so, how many.
  • Metastasis Indicates whether the cancer has spread to distant organs, like the lungs or liver.

But when it comes to breast cancer staging, the TNM system was expanded to include additional cancer characteristics, including:

  • Estrogen-receptor status or progesterone-receptor status Whether the cancer has estrogen or progesterone receptors. A positive status means the cancer can use either hormone to grow.
  • HER2 status Whether the cancer produces HER2, a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells.
  • Grade Indicates how much the cancer cells look like healthy cells.
  • Oncotype DX recurrence score Indicates how likely a group of genes may respond to treatment, depending on ER, PR and HER2 status.

What Is The Treatment For Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Symptoms Review: 2017

Treatments include many of the same treatments as other stages of breast cancer:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy For patients diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive, hormonal therapy may be the first line of defense against the disease. As long as the drugs are keeping the cancer from progressing, the patient may be kept on the medication for some time. If scans show the progression of the cancer, the medical oncologist may switch to another form of hormonal therapy or possibly stop this therapy and pursue a different line of systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy or biologic targeted therapy.
  • Biologic targeted therapy
  • Breast surgery It is controversial whether surgery should be done on the breast in the presence of known metastatic disease. In most cases, however, the knowledge of metastasis is discovered after the breast cancer surgery and other treatment has been performed. The cancer returns as a distant recurrence.

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What Is The Life Expectancy For Stage 3 Breast Cancer

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.

Recurrence Of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is considered a chronic disease, so it doesnt go away and recur.

But in recent years, people under age 50 have seen a particularly strong decline in death rates due to breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

These declines are due in part to improved screening and treatment for the disease.

There are a few general facts that are helpful to know about breast cancer outlook:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the United States, according to the

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Coping With Advanced Breast Cancer

Being told that you have advanced or metastatic breast cancer may be very confronting or overwhelming. Some women also find the news that their cancer has spread or come back is more devastating than their original diagnosis.

There are many resources available online to help you further understand the meaning of your diagnosis and how to manage the emotional, physical and practical issues arising from metastatic breast cancer. Below are some links where these resources can be accessed:

Connecting and speaking with others who have gone through a similar experience can also be helpful. Cancer Council runs support groups all across Australia which can provide support and information for people with cancer and their families. Groups in each state can be accessed here:

Although support groups can provide a safe place for people to express their feelings amongst others who share a similar experience, some people are more comfortable talking one-on-one, such as with a counsellor, therapist or trained volunteer . Your GP can also refer you to a psychologist, social worker or other trained therapist. Every person is different and it is important to find a healthy support system that works for you.

Treatment For Early Stage Breast Cancer

When Breast Cancer is No Longer Curable – Mayo Clinic

If you are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, the aim of treatment is to remove the breast cancer and any other cancer cells that remain in the breast, armpit or other parts of the body but cannot be detected.

Treatment for early stage breast cancer can vary from person to person. The stage of your breast cancer is an important factor when making decisions about treatment. However, the most suitable treatment for you also depends on other factors, such as where the cancer is in the breast, the cancers grade, and whether the cancer is hormone receptor-positive, HER2 positive or triple-negative. Your doctor will also consider your age, general health and preferences.

Treatment for early breast cancer may involve:

Usually more than one treatment is used. Treatment may be given in different orders and combinations. Learn more about different treatment options here.

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Understanding Her2+ Status And Survival

Doctors use three markers to help define breast cancers and guide treatment. One of those is the HER2 protein. The other two are hormone receptors . When a cancer has none of these, doctors call it triple negative. Until recently, there wasnt much information about how these markers changed survival rates for breast cancer.

A recent study looked at the National Cancer Institute data to see if there were differences in survival for women based on these markers. The study shows there are. Overall, women who have HR+ and HER2- breast cancer do best. But in the later stages, those who have the HER2+ type have better survival rates than those with HER2-. Breast cancers that are triple negative have the lowest survival rates. The 4-year survival rates are as follows:

  • HR+/HER2-: 92.5%

What Are Some Topics Patients And Family Members Can Talk About

For many people, its hard to know what to say to someone at the end of life. Its normal to want to be upbeat and positive, rather than talk about death. And yet, its important to be realistic about how sick the person may be. Caregivers can encourage their loved one without giving false hope. Although it can be a time for grieving and accepting loss, the end of life can also be a time for looking for meaning and rethinking whats important.

During this period, many people tend to look back and reflect on life, legacies created, and loved ones who will be left behind. Some questions to explore with a patient at the end of life are the following:

  • What are the happiest and saddest times we have shared together?
  • What are the defining or most important moments of our life together?
  • What are we most proud of?
  • What have we taught each other?

Patients with serious, life-threatening illness have stated that being positive or adding humor remains an important outlet for them. Even at this challenging moment, laughter may still be the best medicine.

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What To Know About Breast Cancer Growth

Breast cancer occurs when normal cells mutate and multiply faster than usual. One cell divides to become two cells, then each of those cells divides to become four cells, and so on. The uncontrolled multiplication of cancer cells creates tumors within the breast tissue.

The speed at which a cancer progresses depends on the growth rate of the cancer cells. It is hard to estimate cancer growth because not all cancer cells multiply and divide at the same speed.

In most cases, breast cancer initially develops in either the milk ducts or the lobules, which are the glands that produce milk, before expanding into the breast tissue.

Breast cancer that develops in ducts or lobules can spread to the connective tissue. From there, it can spread to the surrounding lymph nodes.

Once in the lymph nodes, the cancer cells can enter the lymphatic system or the bloodstream, where they can move to other areas of the body.

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