Clinical Data And Tumor Characteristics
The surgeon identifying the cases and constructing the database also collected data regarding date of diagnosis, menopausal status, height, weight, parity, laterality, tumor location, and distant metastases through medical records and the Swedish Cancer Registry. Information concerning tumor size, histological type, and ALNI was retrieved from histopathological examinations. Tumor type was classified using a modification of the World Health Organization classification as proposed by Linell et al. . ALNI was divided into positive, negative, or unknown if no axillary dissection had been performed.
Be Patient With Yourself
Even when treatment is over, your physical body and emotional spirit are still healing. Its important to remember that fatigue and other side effects of treatment dont go away as soon as treatment ends. Whether with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or all of the above, your body just went through a major trauma and needs time to heal.When youre experiencing considerable adjustments and maybe even pain, its common to wonder how to embrace the changes to your body, your lifestyle, and your family dynamic.You might be anxious about going back to work, school, or having to take care of your family. You could still feel very, very tired. You might even experience cognitive problems after chemotherapy, including mental fogginess and trouble concentrating and multi-tasking. This condition is often called chemo-brain and usually goes away over time. Another thing some people struggle with is how their hair is growing back — thicker, thinner, curlier, or even different color. Hair loss and regrowth might seem like a trivial aspect of cancer treatment, but it can have a big impact on a persons outlook and ability to feel like themselves again. All of these feelings and concerns are completely normal. With a little patience and support from friends and family, and frequent checkups with your physician, you can gradually find your new normal.
Expert Review And References
- American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer. 2015: .
- de Boer M, van Dijck JA, Bult P, Borm GF, Tjan-Heijnen VC. Breast cancer prognosis and occult lymph node metastases, isolated tumor cells, and micrometastases. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Oxford University Press 2010.
- Lonning PE. Breast cancer prognostication and prediction: are we making progress?. Annals of Oncology. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007.
- Morrow M, Burstein HJ, and Harris JR. Malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 79: 1117-1156.
- Tripathy D, Eskenazi LB, Goodson, WH, et al. Breast. Ko, A. H., Dollinger, M., & Rosenbaum, E. Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy: How Cancer is Diagnosed, Treated and Managed Day to Day. 5th ed. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing 2008: pp. 473-514.
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Stage The Stage Is The Main Prognostic Factor For Breast Cancer There Is Less Risk That Early Stage Breast Cancer Will Come Back So It Has A More Favourable Prognosis Breast Cancer Diagnosed At A Later Stage Has A Greater Risk Of Recurrence So It Has A Less Favourable Prognosis Doctors Will Consider If Cancer Has Spread To Lymph Nodes And The Size Of The Tumour When They Predict A Prognosis
If cancer has spread to lymph nodes
Whether or not cancer has spread to lymph nodes is the most important prognostic factor for breast cancer. Breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes has a higher risk of coming back and a less favourable prognosis than breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes.
The number of lymph nodes that contain cancer is also important. The more positive lymph nodes there are, the higher the risk that breast cancer will come back. Breast cancer that has spread to 4 or more lymph nodes has the highest risk for recurrence.
The size of the tumour
The size of the tumour is the 2nd most important prognostic factor for breast cancer. The tumour size will affect prognosis no matter how many lymph nodes have cancer in them.
Breast tumours that are 5 cm or larger are more likely to come back after treatment than smaller tumours. Breast tumours that are smaller than 1 cm and have not spread to the lymph nodes have a very favourable prognosis.
Happiness Will Creep Back In If You Let It
We went home and I mourned myself for 2 weeks and thought hard about a way out of this, but there wasn’t/isn’t. So, I’ve chosen to obsess with diet, exercise, and research. I’ve always eaten well and exercised, or so I thought, but I’m now healthier than ever and have to admit I am happy. I know that sounds strange, but I believe if you are willing, happiness will creep back in if you let it, I promise.
In short, I found obsession with nutrition my thing to occupy myself and it definitely won’t hurt to stay as fit as possible for this SOB called cancer. Thicket
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There Are Good Days And Bad Days
There are days when I say to myself, Ive had enough. I cant take it anymore, says Rosen. But I want to keep on living. I love my life. Overall, I have a great life except for the cancer.
Rosen has a few mantras she uses when things get tough. A lot of the tough times are treatment related, she says. I refer to those as bumps in the road, and , This too shall pass.
Stage 4 Breast Cancer Life Expectancy
Stage four of any type of cancer implies that the cancer has moved to other parts of the body and is not limited to the body part that was initially diagnosed. The cancer will have moved to the brain, lungs, liver and even the bones. Stage 4 breast cancer has usually been regarded as incurable. But recent advancements in research and medical science have resulted in the disease being treated as a chronic condition. This means more and more women are able to live longer lives when they are given better care and support and have high levels of personal motivation. When the cancer responds to the treatments, it allows its sufferers to live several years longer than expected.
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How Long Is Chemo For Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy is often administered after surgery to remove any undetected breast cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also help reduce your risk of the cancer returning.
Chemotherapy should usually be given within 30 days of surgery and less than 120 days from the initial diagnosis. One study showed women who started chemotherapy two months after surgery had a 19 percent lower chance to survive compared to women who began chemotherapy a month after surgery.
Treatment comes in cycles that can occur once a week or once every three weeks. Following a period of recovery, this process can continue for up to six months. Women with more aggressive forms of cancer may receive chemotherapy for longer than that.
Not all stages of cancer require chemotherapy. Depending on the results of pathology from surgery, your doctor will decide the best plan for adjuvant treatment. You may also be a candidate for hormonal therapy.
Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
Following are stories from two survivors of breast cancer, told in their own narrative.
“I am Kathy from Littleton, Colorado. I had been a successful hairstylist till the March of 2013. I was used to the occasional back ache as I did most of my work standing up, but one day the backache was so bad I had to go to the hospital to get some relief. After getting an MRI, I received the news that I had stage four breast cancer that had metastasized in my bones. My stage 4 breast cancer life expectancy was only two months. When looking for treatment, I found the University of Colorado Anchutz Cancer Center. For a year I went through chemotherapy once a week, three biopsies and three rounds of radiation. After two years, I am still battling my cancer while living a healthy life. My doctors call this a miracle as I go to the gym five days a week, work for various cancer awareness organizations and recently started a new business.”
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Whats The Outlook For Metastatic Breast Cancer
The right treatment plan can improve survival for people with metastatic breast cancer. However, survival rates vary and are dependent on a number of factors including type/biology of the breast cancer, parts of the body involved and individual characteristics. About 1 in 3 women live at least five years after diagnosis. Some live 10 years or longer. Your care team will discuss your prognosis with you in more detail.
What Tumor Factors Threaten My Life More
There are important tumor biology factors not well reflected in survival statistics by breast cancer stage. Below we list a few important factors that carry a higher risk to life beyond just the stage of cancer. You must ask your surgeon or medical oncologist to explain your receptor status and give you a copy of your biopsy pathology report.
Triple Negative Receptor breast cancer
Triple negative breast cancer is considered a more aggressive breast cancer. Invariably it does require chemotherapy. If you have triple negative breast cancer the risk of dying is higher than the standard statistics usually quoted for a particular stage of breast cancer . Learn more about Triple Negative Breast Cancer with our video lesson
HER2-Positive breast cancer
HER2-positive breast cancers are also more aggressive tumors. But the good news is that we now have incredibly effective, targeted chemotherapy and immunotherapy for HER2-positive cancers. Our video lesson covers HER2-Positive Breast Cancer in more detail .
Breast Cancer at a Young Age
Women younger than 40 have a higher chance of being diagnosed with a more advanced stage breast cancer. Also, the specific cancer type younger women develop has a higher chance of being more aggressive . As a result, age is a relative risk factor for survival.
Untreated breast cancer
Teaching everyone to be an expert in their own breast cancer care.
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How To Handle Emotions
Coping with the many symptoms that can occur with stage 4 breast cancer can be frustrating and discouraging, and people sometimes wonder if they will have to feel poorly the rest of their lives. Anxiety and depression are also severe for some people with advanced disease.
Fortunately, palliative care team consults are now offered at many cancer centers. While hospice is a form of palliative care, palliative care can be helpful even with early, curable tumors. Working with a palliative care team to address physical and emotional issues frees you up to work with your oncologist on issues that treat your cancer specifically.
While the research is also young, it appears that those people who receive palliative care consults not only have a better quality of life with advanced cancer, but they may actually live longer, too.
You Will Be Surprised At How Quickly You Adapt
Nothing can prepare you for the shock of being told this news. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, for the first few months its all you can think about.
However you might feel now, you will not die tomorrow. You will have time to get used to this new normal Now is the time to be gentle on yourself. Trust me, you will smile and laugh again. You will find the joy in life that those without this diagnosis do not know.
If you find solace and a sense of control by changing your eating habits and exercising, then do it. But do not feel guilty if you cant. For the first year I drank a lot and ate terribly but Ive been stable for four and a half years. Dont beat yourself up about this.
Do not give up hope. I felt so broken and was so envious of those around me. The thought of being in treatment forever is overwhelming. You will be surprised at how quickly you adapt and build your life around it.
Take one day at a time and don’t lose hope. This is a path that you cant imagine being able to walk down. But you will. You are stronger than you think. Dita
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I May Not Feel Like A Fighter Theres No Final Victory
The language used to describe cancer and its treatment is often the language of war: fighting cancer, battling cancer, being a warrior. But those words may not resonate with women who have metastatic breast cancer.
Sendelbach recalls using fighting words when she was first diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. I was 30 years old, and I was in fight mode, she says. I was like, Hell yeah, I can kick cancers ass and so on. When she was diagnosed with stage 4, though, she realized there would be no end in sight, no final victory for her.
Theres not a finish line, she says, so to be in fight mode doesnt really work. There has to be an end in sight to stay in that place.
For her, metastatic breast cancer is something she deals with day to day. She describes her journey as a marathon, not a sprint. If you have to stop sometimes to walk and take water breaks, she says, you should. If you try to run as fast as you can all the time, its inevitable that youre going to fail.
How Fast Can Breast Cancer Spread
Metastasis occurs when breast cancer cells begin to grow in another body part.
It is hard to say exactly how quickly breast cancer can grow, including the timeframe, as the disease affects each person differently.
Cancer occurs due to mutations in human cells. Mutations do not follow normal, predictable patterns of cell division, so it is difficult to predict the progression.
Tumors appear when damaged cells replicate over and over to form a clump of abnormal cells. Breast cancer cells can break off and move through the lymph or blood vessels to other areas of the body.
If breast cancer cells begin to grow in another body part, this is called metastasis. Breast cancer is most likely to metastasize to the lymph nodes, lungs, and bones.
Regardless of the location of the new tumor, doctors still consider it to be breast cancer.
Breast cancer growth and its chances of spreading depend on the following:
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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 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.
Living With Secondary Breast Cancer
Everyones experience of being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer is different, and people cope in their own way.
For many people, uncertainty can be the hardest part of living with secondary breast cancer.
Our information on living with secondary breast cancer addresses the emotional, practical and physical effects of a diagnosis.
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Life Expectancy Of A Dog With Mammary Cancer
Now that youve already equipped yourself with some basics about the disease lets discuss life expectancy of a dog with mammary cancer. Well, several factors determine how long a dog suffering from mammary cancer can live with some being around for a few months while others live a full life. One interesting thing, however, is that the tumor numbers or location dont seem to influence the survival rate.
Nonetheless, here are the most crucial factors that affect life expectancy of a dog with mammary cancer:
- Stage of cancerThe stage of cancer is determined by how advanced the tumor is in terms of growth and size. Mammary tumors that are detected at stage 1, for example, have the best prognosis in general, and the dog can easily survive since cancer at this stage is easily curable.
- Type of cancerCarcinomas are the most common types of mammary cancers in dogs, with one of the most dangerous, known as Inflammatory Mammary Carcinoma , being recognized as having the worst prognosis, leaving the affected dog with an average of 25 days.
- Size of tumorHow big the tumor is, affects the life expectancy of dogs, with the ones that have smaller ones being at a better position to survive as compared to the ones with larger tumors.
- Spread of the tumorThis one works just like in humans, so if your dogs cancer has spread considerably to other body parts, he/she might not have better chances to survive compared to a dog whose cancer is detected early when it hasnt spread.
Igniting A New Field Of Research
To address these questions, NCI sponsored a virtual meeting that brought together researchers, health care providers, patient advocates, and people like Ross who are living with advanced or metastatic cancer.
The meeting featured presentations by survivorship researchers and people living with advanced or metastatic disease, as well as panel discussions. Each panel included at least one person living with cancer.
We came together to exchange ideas about how we are caring for these patients and what we can do better, said Temel. Our goal is to ignite a new field of research to better support and address the care needs of patients with advanced cancers.
People living with advanced or metastatic cancer have needs that may differ from those of people who have been treated for early-stage cancers, noted Lisa Gallicchio, Ph.D., of NCIs Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences , who co-led the meeting.
Examples of these needs include the management of chronic conditions, psychosocial support, caregiver support, financial support, and communication around the goals of care.
People with advanced or metastatic cancer might require treatment for the disease indefinitely, or they might be on and off treatment for the rest of their lives, Dr. Gallicchio said. They will also likely undergo regular testing to identify signs of a recurrence.
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