Breast Cancer Survival Rates
The overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is 90%. This means 90 out of 100 women are alive 5 years after theyve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 10-year breast cancer relative survival rate is 84% . The invasive 15-year breast cancer relative survival rate is 80% .
There are three grades of invasive breast cancer:
- Grade 1 looks most like normal breast cells and is usually slow growing
- Grade 2 looks less like normal cells and is growing faster
- Grade 3 looks different to normal breast cells and is usually fast growing
Sometimes the grade given to a cancer after a biopsy can change after surgery. This is because after surgery theres more tissue for the pathologist to look at, which can give them more detailed information about the cancer.
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Questions To Ask A Healthcare Professional
Here are some questions to ask a healthcare professional about a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis:
- Is the cancer stage 2A or 2B? How will this affect the treatment and outlook?
- If the cancer has spread, where has it spread to, and what does this mean for my treatment and outlook?
- What other tests might I need?
- Do I need to talk to more doctors or other healthcare professionals?
- Are there any special characteristics about the cancer, such as HR and HER2 status, and what do these mean?
- What are my long-term outlook and estimated chances of survival based on what we know now?
- How can I obtain a copy of my pathology report?
- Are there any ways to help cover the costs of diagnosis and treatment?
Breast Cancer Survival Rates According To The Stage Of The Cancer
Breast cancer stage of course refers to the spread and size of cancer at diagnosis. Stage zero means the breast cancer is still in situ or contained. Whereas, stage IV means that the cancer has metastasised to other body regions. The stage of cancer at diagnosis affects prognosis.
The 5 year survival rate means that within 5 years around 93 people out of 100, diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer, will still be alive.
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Certain Breast Cancer Subtypes Have A Better Statistical Prognosis
In general, tubular, mucinous and medullary breast carcinomas have a better prognosis than the other sub-types.
The table below gives a very general approximation of the survival rates that may be associated with the different breast cancer subtypes.
However, please bear in mind that these figures are a rough generalization only and survival will always be determined by the individual characteristics of each breast cancer and each patient.
Nonetheless, the relative aggressiveness of the different breast cancer subtypes can be interpreted from the table.
and is almost always near 100% curable.)
|breast cancer sub-type|
|Inflammatory breast carcinoma||65% 35%|
Will I Die Of Breast Cancer
This is a difficult question to answer early in your cancer care but it is still worth asking. Many people just diagnosed with cancer have no idea how much of a risk to their life their unique situation poses. Most breast cancers carry a low risk of recurrence, especially early-stage cancers. The answer is usually reassuring.
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Predictors For Breast Cancer Survival Rates
It has to be remembered that every single breast cancer patient has itsown , unique scenario. Thus, prognosis and breast cancer survival rates are a rough guide ONLY.
However, there are consistent predictors for breast cancer survival rates and these include:-
- The stage of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis
- The Grade of the breast cancer
- A patients age at diagnosis
What This Means For You
If youre a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, this study may seem disheartening. But it does show that you need to be your own best advocate to make sure that you get the treatments that are best for your unique situation. Based on the study results, undertreatment is likely the reason for much of the survival rate difference between men and women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Its also very important to talk to your doctor right away about any changes in your breasts, including:
- nipple pain
- sores on the nipple and/or areola area
- enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
Because many men dont consider the possibility that they may develop breast cancer, they may wait a year or longer to talk to their doctor after noticing a breast symptom. This means the cancer is diagnosed at a later stage, which also contributes to higher mortality rates for men with breast cancer.
Future research should focus on why and how clinical characteristics, as well as biological features, may have different implications for the survival of male and female patients with breast cancer, the researchers concluded. Additional factors, particularly compliance to treatment, biological attributes, and lifestyle factors , should be assessed to help in developing treatments tailored for men, which would mitigate this sex-based disparity.
For more information, visit the Breastcancer.org pages on Male Breast Cancer.
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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.
Men With Breast Cancer Have Lower Survival Rates Than Women
- Tags:Locally Advanced-Stage: Stage IIIC, Locally Advanced-Stage: Stage IIIB, Early-Stage: Stage IIIA, Early-Stage: Stage IIB, Early-Stage: Stage IIA, Early-Stage: Stage IB, Early-Stage: Stage IA, and Early-Stage: Stage 0 — DCIS
A study that looked at nearly 1.9 million people diagnosed with breast cancer found that men have lower overall survival compared to women. The characteristics of the breast cancers and undertreatment of male breast cancer seem to account for much of the difference in survival rates.
Overall survival is how long a person lives, whether or not the cancer grows.
The research was published online on Sept. 19, 2019, in JAMA Oncology. Read the abstract of Overall Mortality After Diagnosis of Breast Cancer in Men vs Women.
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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.
Understanding Options For Breast Cancer Treatment
A diagnosis of breast cancer can sweep you up in a whirlwind of information about type, stage, prognosis and treatment options. If you find out you have the disease, get up-to-date information from reliable sources and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor. Ask your doctor specific questions and dont hesitate to get a second opinion before you commit to treatment, though you can change your mind at any time. Make sure your decisions are based on a thorough understanding of how treatment affects outcomes and your own preferences, so you can make the choice thats right for you.
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Treatment Options For Triple
Typically, triple-negative breast cancer patients will receive a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Research shows that survival rates are higher when chemotherapy is used to shrink the tumor before surgery. Doing chemotherapy before surgery usually means fewer cancer cells in the body at the time time of surgery. This makes it less likely for cancer cells to spread to other areas of the body during the surgery.
Another option to treat triple-negative breast cancer is using drugs that inhibit the poly ADP-ribose polymerase enzyme. Particularly in patients that also test positive for BRCA mutation, PARP inhibitors make it harder for the cancer cells to survive.
Finally, a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy may treat advanced triple-negative breast cancer that tested positive for the PD-L1 protein. Immunotherapy helps the patients immune system work harder to fight the cancer cells, in this case also fighting the PD-L1 protein.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, request an appointment to meet with one of our breast cancer specialists located in the Denver area, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and other areas throughout the Colorado Front Range. We are also happy to quickly schedule a second opinion to help you with making the cancer treatment decision youre confident in.
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 rates, 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
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider Regarding Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
If you notice any unusual changes in your breast tissue, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. If youre currently undergoing treatment for invasive ductal carcinoma, call your healthcare provider if you develop any concerning symptoms, such as high fever, chills, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath , bone pain or abdominal pain.
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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Oncogene Expression May Negatively Affect Breast Cancer Outcome
A relatively new addition to the discussion of breast cancer survival statistics and prognosis is oncogene expression.
An oncogene is a tiny fragment of genetic material which is carried in a chromosome and can cause normal cells to become malignant.
The oncogene HER-2, in particular, has been linked to more aggressive breast cancers.
Around one-third of all breast tumours produce the HER-2 oncogene, and these patients tend to have higher rates of recurrence and lower overall breast cancer survival rates.
According to a 2013 Canadian scientific study, the overall 5-year survival rate of HER-2 positive breast cancer is 88.6%. Furthermore, the relapse-free survival rate for 5 years is 79.4%.
How Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treated
There are several approaches that can be used when treating this type of breast cancer. Specific treatment depends on the size and location of your tumor, your healing capacity and your personal preferences. Invasive ductal carcinoma treatments include:
Are there side effects of invasive ductal carcinoma treatment?
Yes. As with any cancer treatment, side effects are possible. Your specific experience depends on how advanced your tumor is, where its located and what type of treatment you undergo.
People who have breast cancer surgery may experience infection, blood clots or complications from anesthesia. Those who undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy may have:
- Weight changes.
- Fertility problems.
For patients receiving anti-hormone therapy, the most common side effects are hot flashes, joint pain, weight changes, mood changes, vaginal dryness or discharge and decrease of sexual desire.
You may experience other symptoms, too. Your healthcare provider can tell you what to expect during invasive ductal carcinoma treatment.
Regional Relapse Following Breast Cancer Treatment Carries A Poorer Prognosis
Most localized breast cancers are treated by either breast conserving surgery with radiation therapy, or by mastectomy.
A medical study from 2010 estimates that around 40% of all women with breast cancer will suffer a recurrence.
The prognosis following a breast cancer recurrence is influenced by a number of factors. These include:-
- The Disease Free Interval: This is the time elapsed from diagnois and treatment of the first breast cancer to the recurrence
- The location of the recurrence: Whether the recurrence is in the same breast , or if it recurs in the contralateral breast, regional lymph nodes, or the chest wall .
Patients with breast cancer relapses are typically generally treated with either a salvage mastectomy, or radiation to the chest wall, regional lymph nodes, or both.
Systemic therapy may be implemented at this point. However, this will be determined on an individual basis, based on the likelihood of distant metastasis, characteristics of the tumor, and other factors.
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 , when the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
Learn more about breast cancer treatment.
How A Breast Cancers Stage Is Determined
Your pathology report will include information that is used to calculate the stage of the breast cancer that is, whether it is limited to one area in the breast, or it has spread to healthy tissues inside the breast or to other parts of the body. Your doctor will begin to determine this during surgery to remove the cancer and look at one or more of the underarm lymph nodes, which is where breast cancer tends to travel first. He or she also may order additional blood tests or imaging tests if there is reason to believe the cancer might have spread beyond the breast.
The breast cancer staging system, called the TNM system, is overseen by the American Joint Committee on Cancer . The AJCC is a group of cancer experts who oversee how cancer is classified and communicated. This is to ensure that all doctors and treatment facilities are describing cancer in a uniform way so that the treatment results of all people can be compared and understood.
In the past, stage number was calculated based on just three clinical characteristics, T, N, and M:
- the size of the cancer tumor and whether or not it has grown into nearby tissue
- whether cancer is in the lymph nodes
- whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the breast
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M give more details about each characteristic. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Jump to more detailed information about the TNM system.
Jump to a specific breast cancer stage to learn more:
Age And Stage For Breast Cancer Prognosis
Stage 1 Breast Cancer: The highest survival rates for stage I breast cancer tends to be for women aged 50 to 69 years. Women under 39 have the poorest overall survival rates for stages I and II breast cancers.
Stage II, III and IV Breast Cancers: Women between the ages of 40 and 49 showed the highest survival rates for more advanced breast cancers. Conversely, as we have seen, women over 70 years showed the lowest survival rates for Stages III and IV breast cancer.
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