How Common Is Triple
About 10 to 20% of breast cancers are found to be triple-negative. However, triple-negative cancer cells are found more often in people under the age of 50. This is about 10 years younger than the average age of 60 or older for other types of breast cancer diagnoses. Triple-negative breast cancer is also found in higher percentages of Black and Hispanic patients and less often in Asian and non-Hispanic patients.
Another population that is more likely to be diagnosed with this type of breast cancer has an inherited mutation of the BRCA gene. About 70% of those with triple-negative breast cancer also test positive for having the BRCA mutation. You may qualify for genetic testing based on your family history. Learn more about genetic testing for breast cancer.
What Causes Breast Cancer Recurrence
The goal of cancer treatments is to kill cancer cells. But, cancer cells are tricky. Treatments can reduce tumors so much that tests dont detect their presence. These weakened cells can remain in the body after treatment. Over time, the cells get stronger. They start to grow and multiply again.
Even surgery to remove a cancerous tumor isnt always 100% effective. Cancer cells can move into nearby tissue, lymph nodes or the bloodstream before surgery takes place.
Stage 3a Breast Cancer
If you are diagnosed with Stage 3A breast cancer, it means that one of the following applies to you:
The tumour is less than 5 cm and breast cancer cells have been found in:
- 4-9 lymph nodes in the armpit. or
- 1 or more lymph nodes under the breastbone
The tumour is larger than 5 cm and breast cancer cells have spread to 1-9 lymph nodes.
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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%.
Unique Challenges For Young Adults
Breast cancer in young adults is just different. We are at a different phase of our lives and encounter unique challenges compared to older persons. These challenges may significantly impact our quality and length of life. Some of the unique challenges and issues young adults face:
- The possibility of early menopause and sexual dysfunction brought on by breast cancer treatment
- Fertility issues, because breast cancer treatment can affect a womanâs ability and plans to have children
- Many young women are raising small children while enduring treatment and subsequent side effects
- Young breast cancer survivors have a higher prevalence of psychosocial issues such as anxiety and depression13
- Questions about pregnancy after diagnosis
- Heightened concerns about body image, especially after breast cancer-related surgery and treatment
- Whether married or single, intimacy issues may arise for women diagnosed with breast cancer
- Challenges to financial stability due to workplace issues, lack of sufficient health insurance and the cost of cancer care
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Additional Markers For Breast Cancer Staging
Additional markers specific to breast cancer will further define your stage, which may be helpful in choosing targeted treatments to fight the cancer.
- ER: The cancer has an estrogen receptor. Estrogen is a hormone, and some cancers have receptors that respond to estrogen.
- PR: The cancer has a progesterone receptor. Progesterone is also a hormone.
- HER2: The cancer makes the protein HER2 .
- G: Grade of cancer refers to how different the cells look from normal. Grade 1 indicates that the cells look fairly normal, while grade 2 cells are growing a little faster, and grade 3 cells look markedly different than normal breast tissue.
These markers, along with the TNM measurements, define your stage.
A cancer recurrence refers to cancer that returns in the same breast, and it requires new staging. This new stage is marked by an R at the end to indicate restaging. If it develops in the other breast, its considered a new cancer.
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Patient Characteristics With Reference To Age At Diagnosis
Clinical factors and tumor characteristics of the six age groups are shown in Table . Distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis was more common with increasing age. There was considerably more missing data for the oldest age category concerning axillary lymph node status. It was more common for older women to have been regarded as unsuitable for surgery, and it was also less common for these women to have undergone an axillary dissection.
Table 1 Distribution of age at diagnosis in relation to patient characteristics, tumor characteristics, and surgical treatment
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Prognosis And Survival For Breast Cancer
If you have breast cancer, you may have questions about your prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors best estimate of how cancer will affect someone and how it will respond to treatment. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with your medical history, the type, stage and characteristics of your cancer, the treatments chosen and the response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together. They both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
Doctors use different prognostic and predictive factors for newly diagnosed and recurrent breast cancers.
Checking The Lymph Nodes
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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Discussion On The Figures And Bar Graphs
As we can see outlook for breast cancer according to stage has improved immensely since these statistics first started appearing on the internet.
The estimated 5 year survival rates from Dr. Halls early data for Stage I was only 85%. By 2002 this figure has risen to 88% and for 2012 almost a 100% survival rate.
For Stage II the outlook is also much improved. From the 2002 data the survival rate was between 74% and 81%. Again by the latest data the relative percentage survival rate is 93%.
Furthermore Stage III in 2002 had a percentage survival rate of 41% to 49%. However, the 2012 data shows that this percentage has risen to 72%
Sadly, the survival percentage for stage IV breast cancer remains fairly low. 15% 5-year survival rate in 2002 to 22% 5-year relative survival rate in 2012.
NOTE: Just a word of caution on statistics. The first two graphs are percentage survival rates. So, if the figure is, for example, 93% for Stage II breast cancer, this means that 93 out of 100 patients with a Stage II diagnosis will be alive 5 years later.
On the other hand, relative survival rates in the lower table, compares breast cancer sufferers with the general population. So, if the relative survival rate for Stage II breast cancer is 93% this means that people with that diagnosis are 93% as likely to be alive 5 years later as the general population with similar life factors.
Mastectomy And Local Recurrence
With mastectomy, the best predictor of local recurrence is whether the lymph nodes in the underarm area contain cancer.
The risk of recurrence is usually higher when there are more axillary lymph nodes with cancer than when there are few or no nodes with cancer .
- When the axillary nodes dont contain cancer, the chance of local recurrence in 5 years is about 6 percent .
- When the axillary nodes contain cancer, the chance of local recurrence in 5 years is about 23 percent following mastectomy without radiation therapy . Radiation therapy can reduce this risk to about 6 percent .
Learn more about breast cancer recurrence.
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Survival Of Breast Cancer Based On Stage
Statistics are given below for the overall survival rates for breast cancer based on certain stages of disease development.
I made this page many years ago, when there was nothing like this data available on the internet. Recently this page has been up-dated with the most recent statistics that we can find. Prognosis will be even better than the numbers here suggest because modern targeted treatments have improved a lot.
Breast cancer staging is determined by many factors and these include:-
- The presence and size of a tumor
- Whether the tumor is node negative or positive, this means whether lymph nodes are involved or not
- If the cancer has metastasized beyond the breast
If breast cancer is diagnosed and it is determined that there is no metastasis to the lymph nodes then the chances of survival are extremely good.
Once breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes the mode of treatment tends to shift to the chemotherapy medicines, and the odds of survival are somewhat lower.
An updated page on breast cancer survival rates. A new page on Breast cancer TNM stage.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
In some cases, a woman may discover a lump or may notice changes in the breast. A doctor will perform a physical exam to look for breast changes such as:
- A lump in the breast
- Changes in the size or shape of the breasts
- Dimpling skin on the breast
- Pulling in of a nipple
- Discoloration of breast skin
- Not usually used to screen for breast cancer but may be used in the following situations:
- Screening young women, especially those with dense breasts, who have an increased risk of breast cancer
- Screening for breast cancer in women diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes
- Screening of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer with extremely dense breasts on mammograms
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How Can I Reduce My Risk For Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Like most cancers, knowing your family history can help you take preventative steps, such as early screenings and mammograms. Even though invasive ductal carcinoma cant be prevented altogether, there are steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Dont smoke.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Undergo genetic testing for gene mutations if recommended based on family history.
What Treatments Are Used For Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer may be treated with chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these treatments.
The choice of treatment generally depends on the type of primary cancer the size, location, and the number of metastatic tumors. Also, the patients age and general health and the types of treatment the patient has had in the past.
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Staging And Grading Of Breast Cancer
Knowing the stage and grade of the cancer helps your doctors plan the best treatment for you.
On this page
Your specialist doctor needs certain information about the cancer to advise you on the best treatment for you. This includes:
- the stage of the cancer
- the grade of the cancer
- whether the cancer has receptors for hormones or a protein called HER2.
This information comes from the results of all the tests you have had, including:
- the biopsy, when the tissue was examined
- other tests that were done on the cells.
Your specialist doctor and nurse will talk to you about this. They will explain how it helps you and your doctor decide on your treatment plan.
We understand that waiting to know the stage and grade of your cancer can be a worrying time. We’re here if you need someone to talk to. You can:
Survival Rates By Race
White women in the United States are most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Between 2013 and 2017, 131.3 per 100,000 white women were diagnosed with the disease.
There is, however, variation within that group: non-Hispanic white women were far more likely to have been diagnosed than Hispanic white women.
Black women are the second most likely group to get breast cancer , followed by Asian and Pacific Island women , Hispanic , and American Indian and Alaska Native women .
Survival rates also vary according to race and ethnicity.
From 2013 to 2017, Asian and Pacific Islander women had the lowest death rate, at 11.4 per 100,000 women. This was followed by Hispanic women , American Indian and Alaska Native women , white women , and non-Hispanic white women .
Black women had the highest death rate, at 27.6 per 100,000 women, despite being the second most likely group to get breast cancer.
This could possibly be due to a lack of access to care. seem to affect disparity in breast cancer mortality. These include:
The most important factor that affects breast cancer survival is whether the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other body organs. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance of treating breast cancer before it advances.
Some types of breast cancer are more aggressive than others. Five-year survival rates tend to be lower for women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer .
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What Is The Life Expectancy For Breast Cancer
Life expectancy for breast cancer is often expressed in 5-year survival rates, that is, how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis.
Breast cancer 5-year survival rates:
- Localized : 99%
- Stage IA, some IIA, and some IIB
Mortality Rates Versus Number Of Breast Cancer Deaths
Sometimes its useful to have an estimate of the number of people expected to die from breast cancer in a year. This numbers helps show the burden of breast cancer in a group of people.
Numbers, however, can be hard to compare to each other. To compare mortality rates in different populations, we need to look at mortality rates rather than the number of breast cancer deaths.
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Breast Cancer Statistics In Young Adults
Although breast cancer in young adults is rare, more than 250,000 living in the United States today were diagnosed under age 40. In young adults, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed in its later stages. It also tends to be more aggressive. Young adults have a higher mortality rate. As well as a higher risk of metastatic recurrence .
Description Of The Study Population
Characteristics of the study population, including demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment characteristics, and survival outcomes are summarized in . A total of 224,930 Black or White women with a first primary occurrence of breast cancer diagnosed between 1988 and 2003 were included in the analysis. Of these, 9.1% of the sample was Black. In addition, 6.2% was < 40 years of age, 19.4% was 40â49 years, 33.2% was 50â64 years, and 41.2% was 65+ years of age at diagnosis. Black women were more likely than White women to be diagnosed in the < 40 and 40â49 age groups, while White women were more likely to be diagnosed in the 65+ age group . Within each age group, Black women were more likely to be unmarried, diagnosed at a more advanced stage, have larger tumors, higher grade tumors, and positive lymph nodes compared with White women . Black women were less likely to have ER-or PR-receptor positive tumors and less likely to have received surgery or radiation therapy than White women .
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Survival Rates 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 .