What Makes It Triple
Triple-negative refers to the fact that this type of breast cancer is not fueled by certain substances such as hormones or growth proteins in the body.
Estrogen and progesterone receptors are found in some types of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer doesnt show hormone receptors on the cancer cells and most likely wont respond to breast cancer treatments using hormone blockers to slow the growth of cancer cells like many other types of breast cancer.
Another feature important for classifying breast cancer is the presence of the HER2 protein. Healthy cells have some HER2, but about 20% of breast cancer diagnoses have an excess of this protein, signaling the cells to grow and divide rapidly. Cancers that test positive for an excess of HER2 protein may be effectively treated using targeted therapies that disrupt the function and growth of HER2. Triple-negative cancer patients do not have a significant amount of HER2 protein fueling the cancer.
Survival Rates For Women With Early Stage Breast Cancer
When comparing women who had tumor removal and breast removal , the survival rates are similar for those with stage I or stage II cancers. In a study of almost 190,000 women in California who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in one breast, there was no statistically significant difference in survival at 10 years among women who underwent double mastectomy and those who did not:
Lumpectomy and radiation: 83.2% 10-year survival rate
Single mastectomy: 79.9% 10-year survival rate
Double mastectomy: 81.2% 10-year survival rate
What Is Stage I
Stage I is the earliest point of invasive cancer when tumor cells have started to spread to surrounding, normal breast tissue, Cruz said. In this stage the spread is contained to a small area.
Stage I is divided into categories IA and IB based on the size of a tumor and where cancer cells are detected. In IA, the tumor is about the size of a grape, Cruz said. Stage IB indicates the tumor is smaller or nonexistent, but there are small clusters of cells in the lymph nodes.
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Better Support During Radiation Treatment Improves Breast And Lung Cancer Survival Rates For Black And White Women
- Tags:White, Black/African-American, Whole-Breast External Radiation, Preparing for/Undergoing Radiation, Planning/Considering Radiation, Radiation After Surgery , Radiation to the Breast, Early-stage: Stage IIB, Early-stage: Stage IIA, Early-stage: Stage IB, Early-stage: Stage IA, and Early-stage: Stage 0 — DCIS
Identifying and offering solutions for obstacles that kept people from completing radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer and lung cancer improved outcomes and seemed to eliminate the difference in 5-year survival rates between Black and white people, according to the ACCURE study.
The research was presented on Oct. 25, 2021, at the 2021 American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting. Read the abstract of Overall Survival From a Prospective Multi-Institutional Trial to Resolve Black-White Disparities in the Treatment of Early Stage Breast and Lung Cancer.
The 5-year survival rate means the percentage of people who were alive 5 years after diagnosis, whether or not the cancer came back.
What Are The Complications Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer that comes back can be harder to treat. The same therapy isnt always effective again. Tumors can develop a tolerance to certain treatments like chemotherapy. Your healthcare provider will try other therapies. You may be able to try drugs under development in clinical trials.
If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, your healthcare providers still treat it like breast cancer. For instance, breast cancer cells that move to the lungs cause breast cancer in the lungs not lung cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is more difficult to treat than cancer in only one part of the body.
You may feel stressed, depressed or anxious. A mental health counselor and support groups can help.
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What Is Stage Ii
In stage II, cancer cells have spread or have been found in lymph nodes or axillary lymph nodes, located around the armpit near the breastbone. Like stage I, it’s also separated into two groups, Stage IIA and IIB, depending on how large of a tumor is found and where and how much the cancer cells have spread.
“We basically need to know how big and if the tumor or cancer cells have spread to any lymph nodes, this will help us understand how and where to treat the patient,” Cruz said. “But as with any stage, even if it’s spread, I tell my patients to remain calm so we can discuss how to fight against the cancer.”
In stage IIA, if a tumor isn’t found, cancer cells are commonly found in one to three axillary lymph nodes, Cruz said. If there is a tumor, it’s usually not larger than two millimeters and has also spread to the lymph nodes.
In stage IIB, either a tumor or small cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. If it hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes, the tumor is usually larger than five millimeters.
What Are Risk Factors For Breast Cancer Recurrence
Anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis can have a recurrence. Your risk of cancer recurrence depends on several factors:
- Age: Women who develop breast cancer before age 35 are more likely to get breast cancer again.
- Cancer stage: Cancer stage at the time of diagnosis correlates with the risk of the cancer being able to recur. Several factors determine cancer stage: tumor size, cancer grade and cancer spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Cancer grade indicates how unusual cancer cells look in comparison to healthy cells.
- Cancer type: Aggressive cancers like inflammatory breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer are harder to treat. Theyre more likely to come back and spread.
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Survival 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 .
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.
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Survival Rate For Patients With Triple
Triple-negative breast cancer is considered aggressive, or fast-growing, but it is treatable. Survival depends on factors such as how advanced the cancer was at diagnosis, your overall health, and your response to treatment.
When assessing survival, researchers use a 5-year marker to make predictions about if cancer will reoccur.
According to the American Cancer Society, if any type of breast cancer is found to be stage 1, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%. Stage 2 breast cancer survival is about 93%, stage 3 is 72%, and metastasized or grade 4 breast cancer has about a 22% chance of survival. Keep in mind most triple-negative breast cancers are stage 3 when found.
Its important to note that the survival rates may be higher than this data suggests because new treatments are becoming available through clinical research.
What Are The Chances Of Breast Cancer Recurrence After Treatment For Stage 2 Breast Cancer
In women who have breast-conserving treatment, the chance of recurrence is about 3-15% in 10 years, depending on tumor characteristics and margins. Distant recurrence in those who had mastectomy is most influenced by axillary lymph node involvement. When axillary lymph nodes are not cancerous, the recurrence rate is 6% in 5 years. When axillary lymph nodes are cancerous, the recurrence rate is 23% in 5 years with mastectomy but no radiation.
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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% .
What Are The Different Grades Of Breast Cancer
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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Breast Cancer May Be Cured If Diagnosed And Treated Early
Cure rates are given in terms of 5- and 10-year survival rates Stages I, II and III cancers weigh in at different percentages for years-of-life survival
Is cancer cured? Or is cancer in remission? Distinguishing between cure and remission is important. A patient is considered in full remission when all symptoms of breast cancer are gone. After a patient has been free of symptoms for 5 or more years, some oncologists consider their patients cured. However, it is possible that some cancer cells may stay in the body for many years following treatment.
American Cancer Society 2018 Statistics and Estimates
The 5-year survival rate for most breast cancer cases diagnosed at the localized stage, i.e., not having spread to lymph nodes or other places outside of the breast, is estimated at 99 to 100%. This is Stage I. About 62% of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed at this stage.
The 5-year survival rates for Stages II and III are estimated as follows:
Stage II 93%
Stage III 72%
The 10-year survival rate for breast cancer patients whose cancer has invaded other parts of the body is 83%. These percentages are quite good due to the advancements in cancer treatment over the past several years.
Increasing the Odds for Survival
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Inoperable Breast Cancer Is Often Still Treatable
Stage 3C breast cancer is divided into operable and inoperable stage 3C breast cancer. However, the term inoperable is not the same as untreatable.
If your physician uses the word inoperable, it may simply mean that a simple surgery at this time would not be enough to get rid of all the breast cancer that is within the breast and the tissue around the breast. There must be healthy tissue at all of the margins of the breast when it is removed. Keep in mind that the breast tissue goes beyond the breast mound it goes up to the clavicle and down to a few inches below the breast mound. There must also be tissue to close the chest wound after the surgery is performed.
Another treatment method may be used first to shrink the breast cancer as much as possible before surgery is considered.
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The Tnm Staging System
The TNM staging system gives the complete stage of the cancer:
- T describes the size of the tumour.
- N describes whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and which nodes are involved. For example, N0 means no lymph nodes are affected. N1 means there are cancer cells in 1 to 3 of the lymph nodes.
- M describes whether the cancer has spread to another part of the body. For example, M0 means the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
Sometimes the final TNM staging may not be certain until after surgery to remove the cancer.
What Is Stage 0
Stage 0 is the least invasive stage of breast cancer and usually detected early in patients, according to the American Cancer Society. In this stage, cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells are only in the part of the breast in which they formed and haven’t spread.
“At this stage of breast cancer, we tell patients not to be too worried. Stage 0 is extremely treatable and we ask people not to shed a tear over the diagnosis just yet,” said Cruz.
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The Prognosis For Patients With Triple
Prognosis refers to the likely outcome of treatment for patients with triple-negative breast cancer. Unlike other types of breast cancer that have a well-proven set of treatments, triple-negative breast cancer is still in the process of being researched for a more standardized treatment plan. Because of this, several treatments may be needed to find one that is effective. Studies have shown that triple-negative breast cancer is more likely to have metastasized , have a higher grade, and are more likely to recur after treatment.
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.
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Stage 2 Cancer Treatment Options
In general, stage 2 cancers tend to be treated locally with surgery and/or radiation. At times, chemotherapy or other drug therapies may also be a part of stage 2 cancer treatment. Below, find stage 2 cancer treatment options for the five most common cancers.
Stage 2 breast cancer treatment: Stage 2 breast cancer tends to be most commonly treated with surgerya lumpectomy or mastectomyand radiation treatment afterward. During the surgery, doctors check the nearby lymph nodes for cancer, too. Most patients also have medication as part of their treatment plan: either chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy or a combination.
Stage 2 lung cancer treatment: Stage 2 lung cancer is typically treated with surgery. Some people may also have chemotherapy after surgery. For patients who cant have surgery, radiation may be a treatment option.
Stage 2 prostate cancer treatment: For stage 2 prostate cancer, treatment depends on the patients symptoms, age and overall health. If the patient is older and isnt experiencing symptoms, doctors may simply keep an eye on how the tumor is doing and treat it if theres any drastic change. However, stage 2 cancers are more likely to spread without treatment than stage 1 cancers. Treatment options may include surgery, surgery followed by radiation, radiation only, or radiation with hormone therapy.
Clinical Manifestations Of Stage 4
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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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.
Probability Of Cancer Progression
How long the remission period can last is one of the most frequently asked questions by patients with stage 4 breast cancer. The answer to this question depends on a number of factors that come in.
First, tumors may have a different tendency to grow. Slowly growing tumors mean longer remission and longer life expectancy. Second, age is important. In young patients, cancer tends to be more aggressive and resistant to treatment. Third, the localization of metastases plays an important role. Metastasis to bone or lymphatic tissue is a more prognostic option for treatment than lung, liver, and especially brain damage.
Another very important factor is the tumors responsiveness to the therapy. In women with hormone-positive breast cancer, in which the tumor reacts well to hormone therapy, life expectancy can be 10-15 years, even taking into account the 4th stage of the disease. For comparison, the life expectancy of patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer is only one year.
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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: