What Are The Chances Of Breast Cancer Recurring
Despite huge advancements in breast cancer screening, early detection and treatment, a percentage of breast cancers will recur and spread to distant sites.
Although at the moment, it is almost impossible to say which cancers will recur and at what time period from diagnosis, there are a few factors that are known to increase the risk for recurrence.
These risk factors include:-
- Lymph node involvement and number of lymph nodes affected at the time of diagnosis
- Tumor Size at the time of diagnosis
- A subtype of Breast Cancer and hormonal receptor Status
- The time span from the initial diagnosis to recurrence of breast 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.
What Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Also known as metastatic breast cancer, the cancer in this stage has spread beyond the breast, underarm and internal mammary lymph nodes to other parts of the body near to or distant from the breast. The cancer has spread elsewhere in the body. The affected areas may include the bones, brain, lungs or liver and more than one part of the body may be involved.
At stage 4, TNM designations help describe the extent of the disease. Higher numbers indicate more extensive disease. Most commonly, stage 4 breast cancer is described as:,
- T: T1, T2, T3 or T4 depends on the size and/or extent of the primary tumor.
- N1: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- M1: The disease has spread to other sites in the body.
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Study Limitations And Strengths
With this being the first analysis of breast cancer in a predominantly rural setting, it may be difficult to extrapolate the results to other rural areas of either Ghana or other in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, 46% of our patients were lost to follow-up and therefore censored. This could have over or underestimated the cumulative survival in this study. Lastly, sub-analysis of survival by biologic subtype could not be done due to a lack of statistical power in the analysis of the results from the limited number of patients who had complete immunohistochemistry analysis available. However, the major strength of our study is that it is the first to demonstrate a low breast cancer survival rate in a rural population in the sub-Saharan African country, Ghana. Another strength is that this data adds to the growing body of literature in identifying high rates of the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, TNBC, in the black population of Ghana.
What Does This Mean By A 5
The terms “five-year survival” and “one-year survival” do not suggest that you will only survive for one or five years. They study what happens to cancer patients in the years after they are diagnosed. A typical time range for judging survival is 5 years. Some people, however, have much longer lives.
5-year survival refers to the number of people who have not died from cancer within 5 years of being diagnosed.
You don’t have to be perplexed and alarmed by terms like one-year or five-year survival.
Consult your doctor if you are having difficulty understanding such jargon.
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Dcis Breast Cancer Survival Rate
The DCIS breast cancer treatment prognosis is very good as it is non-invasive. The survival rate usually not depends upon selected treatment option, as treatment is totally depended upon patient condition, means the size of the tumor. The usual finding shows that the general mortality rate from breast cancer after at 20 years of diagnosis is 3.3% 5,6.
Regional Recurrence Within Three Years Carries A Less Favorable Prognosis But Overall Survival Statistics Are Still Good
Generally speaking, if the breast cancer returns regionally lymph nodes) within the first five years following original treatment, the overall likelihood of survival is thought to be somewhat poorer.
Five-year overall survival after an isolated chest wall recurrence is 68% and after intra-breast recurrence it is 81%.
In one 2010 medical research study, the ten year overall survival rate was estimated at 84% for women without recurrence. However, this figure goes down to 49% for women with a locoregional recurrence and 72% for women with a second primary tumour.
A large 2015 study examined the impact of the time of the disease free interval on survival rates. For women with a locoregional recurrence that happened in the first 18 months, the ten year overall survival rate is around 30%. The overall 10 year survival rate for those whose recurrence happened within 3 years goes up to 50%. Furthermore, for those who suffered a recurrence after 3 years the ten year overall survival rate increases to 70%.
This recent study clearly demonstrates that the longer the time span since the primary prognosis and treatment to the recurrence, the better the long-term prognosis.
The rate of distance breast cancer metastasis and overall survival is most favorable for women in which the recurrence occurred locally and after five years.
However, women with a same-breast recurrence within five years have a distant metastasis rate of about 61%, which are slightly poorer odds.
Diagnostic Tests That Inform The Clinical Stage
Many methods are used to detect and stage cancer. Some of the common tests include:
Biopsy: The doctor uses a needle to extract breast tissue or fluid, which is then sent to a lab. There, various techniques are used to examine different attributes, such as hormone receptor or HER2 status.
Tumor markers: Rapidly dividing cancerous cells interrupt some of the normal mechanisms of cell growth. This causes the cell to overproduce certain molecules. Lab tests detect these compounds, known as tumor markers, in blood or tissue samples.
Imaging techniques: Several different scans are used to examine characteristics of your cancer. Below are some of the noninvasive imaging techniques you might encounter:
- MRI scans use magnets and radio waves to generate detailed pictures of your tissues.
- CT scans use X-rays to look at your organs. Nuclear scans trace the flow of an injected safe radioactive dye in your body.
- PET scans are similar to nuclear scans but specifically examine glucose consumption in the bodysince cancer cells use more glucose than normal cells.
- Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to see inside your body.
What Causes Breast Cancer
The cause of breast cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors are linked to the disease.
Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Use of hormonal birth control
- Hormone replacement therapy for menopause, particularly estrogen and progesterone
- Family history or personal history of breast cancer
- Dense breast tissue
- Ethnicity: White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer during their lifetime, but African-American women are more likely to develop breast cancer under age 45
- Certain benign breast conditions
- Early onset menstruation
- Menopause after age 55
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Living With Stage : The Breast Cancer No One Understands
Editor’s note: We’re bringing back this piece from October 2014 for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day and to honor Jody Schoger, featured in the story. Schoger died of metastatic breast cancer in May. Want to learn more about MBC? Look for our tweets at the Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference this Saturday at Fred Hutch.
A no-nonsense Texan of 60 years, Jody Schoger* has a very no-nonsense way of educating people about her metastatic breast cancer.
âSomeone will say, âWhen are you done with treatment?â and Iâll tell them, âWhen Iâm dead,ââ said Schoger, a writer and cancer advocate who lives near Houston. âSo many people interpret survivorship as going across the board. That everybody survives cancer now. But everybody does not survive cancer.â
An estimated 155,000-plus women in the U.S. currently live with âmets,â or metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer, also called stage 4 breast cancer, means the cancer has metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brain, bones and/or other parts of the body. Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
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
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What Is The Chance I Could Die In The Next 5 Years
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%.
How To Treat Stage 3 Lung Cancer
Generally, treatment begins with chemotherapy and/or radiation. You may have chemotherapy and radiation at the same time , or you may have them one after another. Surgery may follow this treatment if your care team thinks the remaining cancer may be successfully removed. After surgery, additional chemotherapy and/or radiation may be part of your treatment plan.
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Is Inoperable Breast Cancer Still Treatable
Although stage 3C breast cancer is defined as either operable or inoperable, an inoperable diagnosis doesnt necessarily mean that it cant be treated.
The term inoperable may mean that all the cancer in the breast and surrounding tissue cant be removed through simple surgery. When breast cancer is removed, a rim of healthy tissue around the tumor, called a margin, is also removed.
For breast cancer to be successfully removed, there needs to be healthy tissue in all margins of the breast, from your clavicle down to a few inches below the breast mound.
It is possible for inoperable breast cancer to become operable following a treatment to shrink the cancer.
Breast Cancer Survival In Eastern Region Of Ghana
- 1Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States
- 2Department of Surgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, United States
- 3Department of Surgery, Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua, Ghana
- 4Department of Health Policy and Administration, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States
Objective: Five-year overall survival rate of breast cancer in low-income countries is significantly lower than in high-resource countries. This study explored clinical and pathological factors influencing mortality in the Eastern region of Ghana.
Methods: We performed a retrospective medical chart review for patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy for breast cancer at a regional hospital in Ghana from January 2014 to January 2017. Descriptive and survival analysis was done.
Results: One hundred and twenty-nine patients were included in the study. The median age at presentation was 51 years. Sixty percent of patients presented with poorly differential histological grade III. The most common histological type was invasive ductal carcinoma . Based on stage assessment using only tumor size and lymph node status, 60% presented at stage 3. Only 25% were tested for hormone receptor proteins and HER2 status. Of these, 57% had triple-negative breast cancer . The 3-year overall survival rate was only 52%.
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Examples Of Mortality Rates Versus Number Of Deaths
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 2022, its estimated among women there will be :
- 100 breast cancer deaths in Washington, D.C.
- 730 breast cancer deaths in Alabama
- 4,690 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 place. Fewer women live in Alabama and Washington, D.C. than live in California.
Other factors may vary by place as well, such as the age and race/ethnicity of women. So, to compare breast cancer mortality rates, we need to look at mortality rates.
In 2022, the estimated mortality rates are :
- 25 per 100,000 women in Washington, D.C.
- 21 per 100,000 women in Alabama 22
- 19 per 100,000 women in California 20
What Is Stage 3 Cancer
Stage 3 cancer is sometimes referred to as locally advanced cancer. In this stage, the tumor may have grown to a specific size, the cancer may consist of multiple tumors, and/or the cancer may have spread to adjacent lymph nodes, organs or tissue. In some cases, stage 3 cancers may be considered metastatic cancers,
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Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast but not to distant sites. The cancer is typically in nearby lymph nodes or skin.
Stage 3 breast cancer is typically harder to treat than earlier stages. This, however, ultimately depends on several factors, including:
- hormone receptivity
A doctor can help a person better understand the stage of cancer and how that will affect treatment options and their outlook.
Healthcare professionals distinguish between the following stages of stage 3 breast cancer:
What Are The Treatment Options For Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Another way a doctor may describe stage 3 breast cancer is if its operable or inoperable. This will determine further treatments.
If a cancer is operable, this means a doctor believes most or all of the cancer can be removed with surgery.
Inoperable cancer is still treatable with systemic therapy, but surgery isnt the right option because doctors feel they cant remove enough cancerous cells.
Treatment options for stage 3 breast cancer may include:
- Surgery: known as a mastectomy, to remove cancerous tissue and also to remove lymph nodes
- Hormone therapy: to slow or stop the growth of cancerous cells, if hormones are driving their growth
- Chemotherapy: involves taking medications to kill fast-growing cancer cells
- Targeted therapy: uses your genes to attack cancer cells without harming healthy cells
Your doctor may also recommend a combination of two or more treatments.
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