Triple Negative Breast Cancer
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.
Examples Of Rates Versus Numbers
Say, town A has a population of 100,000 and town B has a population of 1,000. Over a year, say there are 100 breast cancer deaths in town A and 100 breast cancer deaths in town B.
The number of breast cancer deaths in each town is the same. However, many more people live in town A than live in town B. So, the mortality rates are quite different.
In town A, there were 10 breast cancer deaths among 100,000 people. This means the mortality rate was less than 1 percent .
In town B, the mortality rate was 10 percent .
Although the number of deaths was the same in town A and town B, the mortality rate was much higher in town B than in town A .
Lets look at another example. In 2021, its estimated among women there will be :
- 100 breast cancer deaths in Washington, D.C.
- 720 breast cancer deaths in Alabama
- 4,730 breast cancer deaths in California
Of the 3, California has the highest number of breast cancers. However, that doesnt mean it has the highest breast cancer rate. These numbers dont take into account the number of women who live in each state. Fewer women live in Alabama and Washington, D.C. than live in California.
Other factors may vary by state as well, such as the age and race/ethnicity of women. So, to compare breast cancer mortality , we need to look at mortality rates.
In 2021, the estimated mortality rates are :
- 26 per 100,000 women in Washington, D.C.
- 22 per 100,000 women in Alabama 22
- 19 per 100,000 women in California 20
Is Metastatic Cancer Always Fatal
In most cases, metastatic cancer is not curable. However, treatment can slow growth and ease many of the associated symptoms. Its possible to live for several years with some types of cancer, even after it has metastasized. Some types of metastatic cancer are potentially curable, including melanoma and colon cancer.
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Who Is The Longest Survivor Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
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.
How Painful Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Breast cancer cells do not cause pain but exert pressure on the surrounding tissues when they grow. In stage 4 breast cancer, the pain depends upon the following factors:
- Where the cancer is
- What kind of cells and tissues are affected by the cancer
For instance, if breast cancer spreads to surrounding bones, it can cause continuous bone pain. If it spreads to the brain, it can lead to persistent headaches. Therefore, pain varies among different breast cancer patients.
Pain can be relieved by palliative cancer treatment.
Survival For All Stages Of Breast Cancer
Generally for women with breast cancer in England:
- Around 95 out of every 100 women survive their cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis
- Around 85 out of every 100 women will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis
- Around 75 out of every 100 women will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
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
The following are the common treatment options for different types of stage 4 breast cancer.
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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.
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.
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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.
Survival Rates For Breast Cancer
Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.
Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor, who is familiar with your situation, about how these numbers may apply to you.
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What Is A Hormone Receptor
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate in the bloodstream. Hormone receptors are proteins located in and around breast cells. When the corresponding hormone binds to a receptor, it tells the cells how to grow and divide.
In the case of breast cancer, these receptors allow abnormal cells to grow out of control, which results in a tumor.
How Breast Cancer Survivors Can Increase Their Reduced Life Expectancy
Aerobic and resistance training lowers their heightened risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and possibly breast cancer recurrence, USC study says.
Contact: Zen Vuong, or
A USC study suggests regular exercise could add to the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors because it lowers their heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and possibly breast cancer recurrence.
Many people dont know the No. 1 cause of death for breast cancer survivors is heart disease, not cancer, said Christina Dieli-Conwright, lead author of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Jan. 22.
Breast cancer has a relatively high survival rate. An estimated 9 out of 10 people who have breast cancer are still alive five years after they were diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. The problem, however, is women tend to gain weight during breast cancer treatment.
The new study suggests female breast cancer survivors should engage in a mix of aerobic and resistance exercise to reduce their increased risk for metabolic syndrome a cluster of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, excessive body fat and high triglycerides. High triglyceride levels increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
Women with metabolic syndrome are 17 percent more likely to get breast cancer, three times more likely to experience breast cancer recurrence and two times more likely to die from breast cancer, the study cited.
Inflammation and more
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Treatments For Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Treatments at stage four of breast cancer do not cure the disease but slow down its effects, make you feel better, and perhaps make stage 4 breast cancer life expectancy longer.
This is the main type of treatment provided to patients with stage four breast cancer. It is usually used in combination with hormone therapy and helps to reduce the spread of cancer. There are different ways of getting chemo. You can either take pills or liquids or it can be injected directly into your veins.
2. Hormone Therapy
This treatment can be really helpful for women who have hormone receptor-positive cancers. This basically means that the cancer needs hormones to grow. For such women, medications under this treatment can prevent the cancer from getting the hormones. There are a variety of drugs that are administered for women who are postmenopausal. For women who havent undergone menopause yet, removing their ovaries is an option to reduce the production of hormones.
3. Targeted Therapy
This is a relatively newer treatment. Among the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, about 20% have been found to have too much of the protein known as HER2. This protein makes the cancer spread quickly. For such women, trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin, is prescribed to stop the protein from helping the cancer grow. This drug also boosts the immune system, allowing the body to fight the cancer on its own. This treatment is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
The Malm Breast Cancer Database
The study cohort consists of all cases of invasive female breast cancer in Malmö, Sweden, diagnosed between 1 January 1961 and 31 December 1991. They were all treated at the same institution, Malmö University Hospital, and no referrals were made to or from the hospital for patients with breast cancer. All residents in Sweden are registered by a unique 10-digit ID number. Breast cancer patients were identified by review of clinical notes and record-linkage with the Swedish Cancer Registry, forming the basis of the Malmö Breast Cancer Database. This was all completed by one surgeon, who also validated all breast cancer diagnoses by reviewing histological material, X-ray examinations, and medical records . The present study was approved by the regional ethical committee in Lund, Sweden .
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When Breast Cancer Becomes Secondary
- The women were highly motivated to seek information about the disease and treatments
- Despite symptoms and treatment side effects, fewer than 20% found it difficult to maintain daily routines and activities
- Over half acknowledged that the disease had a profound negative impact on their lives but 74% said they were still able to enjoy life
- All women showed resilience and courage
The medical and supportive management of secondary breast cancer has improved in recent years, the stigma surrounding it is diminishing as our understanding increases and those diagnosed with the disease are speaking out, either personally or through advocacy, to let us know that there is life after mets and its a full and wonderful life too.
What Is The Life Expectancy For Each Cancer Stage
Your outlook depends on the stage of your cancer when its discovered. Cancer is staged by number, starting with 0 and going to 4. Stage 0 is the very beginning and stage 4 is the last stage, also called the metastatic stage, because its when cancer has spread to other areas in the body.
Each number reflects different characteristics of your breast cancer. These characteristics include the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has moved into lymph nodes or distant organs, like the lungs, bones, or brain.
Research on survival statistics for people with breast cancer tends to separate participants into categories of women and men.
Survival statistics of women with the major subtypes of breast cancer such as ER-positive, HER2-positive, and triple-negative are grouped together. With treatment, most women with very early stage breast cancers of any subtype can expect a normal life span.
Survival rates are based on how many people are still alive years after they were first diagnosed. Five-year and 10-year survival are commonly reported.
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What About Breast Cancer In Men
The stages of breast cancer relate to how much the cancer has grown and how far its spread. Generally, the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the higher the chances for long-term survival.
|Stage 0||This is a precancerous stage with no invasive cancer cells.|
|Stage 1||The tumor is small and localized to the breast. There may be a small amount of cancer in nearby lymph nodes.|
|Stage 2||The tumor is still localized to the breast but is larger and may have spread to several nearby lymph nodes.|
|Stage 3||This stage includes cancers that have spread to the skin, chest wall, or multiple lymph nodes in or near the breast.|
|Stage 4||This is metastatic breast cancer, meaning its spread to one or more distant parts of the body, most commonly to the bones, lungs, or liver.|
The stages of breast cancer are based on the following factors:
- whether the lymph nodes contain cancer cells
- whether the cancer has metastasized, meaning its spread to other, more distant parts of the body
Since 2018, the following factors have also been used to determine breast cancer stage:
- whether the cancer cells have hormone receptors and need estrogen or progesterone to grow
- whether the cancer cells have the HER2 protein that helps them grow
- tumor grade, meaning how aggressive the cells look under the microscope
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.
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What Affects Prognosis
There are a number of factors that affect breast cancer prognosis. These include:
- the type of breast cancer
- the grade of the breast cancer
- the size of the breast cancer
Other factors that may affect your prognosis include your age, menopausal status , lifestyle factors and your general health.
All of these factors will be considered when estimating your prognosis and deciding what treatment youre offered.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer.
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. These cells grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon in men. Transwomen, non-binary people can also get breast cancer.
Transgender and gender-diverse people can also get breast cancer. A transgender woman taking medication to lower male hormones and boost female hormones may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
It is estimated that 19,866 women and 164 men in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021.
In Australia, the overall five year survival rate for breast cancer in females is 91%. If the cancer is limited to the breast, 96% of patients will be alive five years after diagnosis this figure excludes those who die from other diseases. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, five year relative survival drops to 80%.
Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer.
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