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What Is Survival Rate Of Stage 4 Breast Cancer

What Are Cancer Survival Statistics

Breast Cancer Stage 0 1 2 3 4 Treatment, Survival Rate and Life Expectancy

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 dont take into account the cause of death. Theyre 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.

Relative Survival Rates For Breast Cancer

The National Cancer Institute gives 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer based on how far the disease had spread before a doctor found it.

  • Localized : 99%
  • Regional : 86%
  • Distant : 28%
  • Unknown stage: 55%
  • All stages: 90%

While these numbers can give you a general idea, they are an average for women with any type of breast cancer. They arent specific to the HER2+ type. They also come from data that researchers collected from 2010 to 2016, so they dont reflect more recent treatment advances.

Finding Social And Emotional Support

Its critical to find a strong source of social support, whether its your friends and family, or a support group with other people with breast cancer. While the journey is challenging, you dont have to navigate stage 4 breast cancer alone.

Ask your healthcare provider if theres an in-person support group where you receive treatments. You can also find online and social media groups to join.

Your healthcare provider can also provide more information about the specifics of your cancer, treatment options, and support programs in your area. If youre not sure where to look for an in-person group, a counselor or social worker can also help.

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Coping With Advanced Breast Cancer

Being told that you have advanced or metastatic breast cancer may be very confronting or overwhelming. Some women also find the news that their cancer has spread or come back is more devastating than their original diagnosis.

There are many resources available online to help you further understand the meaning of your diagnosis and how to manage the emotional, physical and practical issues arising from metastatic breast cancer. Below are some links where these resources can be accessed:

Connecting and speaking with others who have gone through a similar experience can also be helpful. Cancer Council runs support groups all across Australia which can provide support and information for people with cancer and their families. Groups in each state can be accessed here:

Although support groups can provide a safe place for people to express their feelings amongst others who share a similar experience, some people are more comfortable talking one-on-one, such as with a counsellor, therapist or trained volunteer . Your GP can also refer you to a psychologist, social worker or other trained therapist. Every person is different and it is important to find a healthy support system that works for you.

What Is The Survival Rate For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Survival: Statistics and Facts

The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer will depend on many things, but the value seen most often is about 27%. It is important to remember that five-year survival rates are based upon diagnoses that occurred at least five years ago. I bring this up because of the amazing progress that is being made every day in cancer research. The data below-median survival time from diagnosis among age groups across time.

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Other Information About Staging

Along with the numerical stages, breast cancer is classified using the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system, which takes into account:

  • The size of the tumor ,
  • Spread to nearby lymph nodes ,
  • Spread or metastasis to distant sites ,
  • Estrogen receptor status,
  • Status called Her2 protein ,
  • The grade of the cancer , or how much the cells look like normal cells

“The grade for breast cancer is how aggressive it looks under the microscope,” Henry says. The grade is also assigned a number, with one being the least aggressive and three being the most. Since both the stage and grade are numbered systems, patients sometimes confuse the two, she says.

When meeting with a breast cancer patient, Henry says she talks about the stage, the grade, and other factors to advise the best form of treatment.

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.

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How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Cancer

Doctors usually give a prognosis for cancer in terms of an estimated survival rate over 5 years. These survival rates are a rough guide based on data from thousands of other people with a similar cancer and stage.

Survival rates vary depending on the location or type of cancer. Despite how far cancer spreads, doctors will still refer to the type of cancer by where it started.

The stage 4 survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancers include the following:

Stage I Breast Cancer

Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diet For Survival

In Stage I, the cancer cells have spread to surrounding breast tissue, but they are still contained in a small area. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB.

In stage IA:

  • The tumor measures up to 20 millimeters .
  • Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

In stage IB:

  • No tumor or a small tumor is in the breast.
  • Small clusters of cancer cells are in the lymph nodes.

Many people with stage I cancer have no symptoms, but some women feel a mass, Henry says. “For most women, it’s found on mammogram,” she says.

The five-year survival rate is 98% to 100% for stage I. Because cancer caught at this stage has a high survival rate, this underscores the importance of getting mammograms, Bryce says. And a sizable number of women do not.

In 2018, an estimated 63% of US women 45 and older were up to date with breast cancer screening, according to a 2021 American Cancer Society report.

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Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Painful

Stage iv metastatic breast cancer can be painful for patients similar to other cancer types. Because the prognosis of metastatic cancer is often less favorable, many patients question is stage 4 breast cancer painful? It depends on several factors such as, where the cancer has and what type of cells are being affected. For example, if the cancer has spread to the bone, patients may experience persistent bone pain. Palliative treatments can be given to patients to help relieve symptoms such as pain. These treatments can include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy.

What Are Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage

Survival rates are a way for health care professionals to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis with their patients. The number most frequently discussed is 5-year survival. It is the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis. Many of these patients live much longer, and some patients die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change in therapies, these numbers also change. The current 5-year survival statistic is based on patients diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today. As with all statistics, although the numbers define outcomes for the group, any individual’s outcome has the potential for a wide range of variation.

All of this needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting these numbers for oneself.

Below is the statistics chart from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database.

Stage
IV22%

These statistics are for all patients diagnosed and reported. Several recent studies have looked at different racial survival statistics and have found a higher mortality in African-American women compared to white women in the same geographic area.

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Surviving Stage 4 Breast Cancer: Is It Possible

Understanding survival rates of stage 4 breast cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute , an estimated 27 percent of people in the United States live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

Many factors can affect your longevity and quality of life. Different subtypes of breast cancer behave differently. Some are more aggressive than others, and some have far fewer treatment options than others. For this reason, your subtype may affect your outlook.

Higher survival rates are also associated with the extent and location of metastasis. In other words, your long-term outlook may be better if your cancer has only spread to your bones than if its found in your bones and lungs.

Immediately seeking treatment, like chemotherapy, surgery, or hormone therapy, can help improve your outlook. Making healthy lifestyle choices might also improve your chances of survival.

Clinical Trials For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Stage Four Liver Cancer Survival Rate

Because of how severe stage 4 breast cancer often is, many treatment options are not as effective as they are in early stages. Many advanced cancer patients turn to clinical trials to seek new treatments. Clinical trials. Before therapies for cancer can be approved by the FDA and are considered standard of care, they need to go through several phases of clinical trials to ensure they are both safe for patients and effective at treating their disease.

Clinical trials are also available for patients of other stages. However, there are fewer available therapies as the disease progresses, so clinical trials are sometimes viewed as the last stage treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer clinical trials offer the latest drugs in cancer research that target the genetic makeup of the tumor, which can lead to fewer side effects and improved responses to therapies.

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From Cured To Stage 4

Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.

Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.

âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â

In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.

âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â

Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.

âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â

And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.

The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.

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% .

Continued

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What Is The Life Expectancy For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Stage 4 breast cancer life expectancy can vary depending on several factors. The following factors can affect your life expectancy with metastatic breast cancer:

  • Age
  • Amount of hormone receptors and HER2 receptors on cancerous cells
  • Tissues that the cancer has affected

There is still not a clear answer for how long can you live with stage 4 breast cancer because it can vary greatly from patient to patient. Other factors such as past and current treatments being used also can have an effect on the life expectancy for patients.

Survival Rates For Breast Cancer

Stage 4 breast cancer surgery

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 about how these numbers may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.

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Living With Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer affects people in different ways. Some women who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer may experience a reduction in their overall health as a result of disease progression and/or the resulting side effects of their treatment. If you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you or if symptoms get worse, it is important that you discuss these with your doctor. In addition, while there is no strong evidence that a special diet will improve the prognosis of metastatic breast cancer, healthy lifestyle choices can help you to feel your best, manage symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing.

Many women also find the uncertainty of their situation difficult to manage. Some people cope best by living in the present and not thinking too much about the future. Other people prefer to plan ahead, which gives them a greater sense of control. The best approach is the one that works best for you.

How Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Treatedand What’s The Survival Rate

While every stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis is differentwhich means the methods used to treat it will also differthis stage of breast cancer is usually treated systemically , since the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body. Systemic treatments usually include options like hormone therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, according to the NCI.

Still, those treatments vary depending on a variety of factors, including where the cancer is located, as well as the patient’s symptoms, overall health, and previous cancer treatmentsand patients are closely monitored throughout treatment for the best outcome. Patients are generally started on the treatment of best reflex or biology and followed closely using scans, with change in treatments as needed if the current treatment is not resulting and either shrinkage or stability of the breast cancer, Dr. Tripathy explains.

In addition to more standard systemic treatment options, Dr. Tripathy explains that there are newer technologies being increasingly usedlike ones that sequence the DNA of cancerous tumor cells for more specified treatmentsas well as various clinical trials designed to offer more options and possibly better outcomes to those dealing with the disease.

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Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Curable

Theres currently no cure for stage 4 breast cancer, but with treatments it can be kept under control, often for years at a time.

People with metastatic breast cancer need to receive treatments for the rest of their lives. If a certain treatment stops being effective, another treatment regimen may be tried.

Clinical Manifestations Of Stage 4

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The main classification signs of breast cancer stage 4 are its spread to remote organs or lymph nodes. The size of the tumor at this stage is no longer important moreover, it may no longer be detected at the primary site.

It is the metastases that most often develop in the liver, lungs, and bones that give information about the development of the oncological process. They are painful and cause vivid symptoms. Metastases in the liver give jaundice and increase abdominal size. Metastases in the lungs give shortness of breath, and in the bones severe pain and frequent fractures.

  • severe intoxication

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Stage Iv Breast Cancer

Stage IV, also called metastatic, is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. In this stage, the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, brain, or bones.

If the cancer has spread to the bone, patients may have bone pain or back pain, and if it has spread to the liver, patients may have pain on the right side of their abdomen, Bryce says. Some of the changes in the skin and nipple listed earlier under stage II may also occur in stage IV.

When the cancer has spread to other, distant parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is 28%. “With the treatments that we have available to us today, most patients, unfortunately, are not cured of their cancer” if it is stage IV, Henry says. But, she adds, “We can still treat, we can still manage, we can still help people feel good for as long as possible.”

Also, many new treatments are emerging. “People are living longer even with stage IV disease,” Bryce says. A 2018 study found that the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment on survival increased substantially from 1975 to 2015.

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