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.
The 10 Deadliest Cancers And Why There’s No Cure
ByAmanda Chan10 September 2010
The dread and fear that can come with a cancer diagnosis have their roots in its killer nature: It’s the No. 2 cause of death in Americans, second only to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even when diagnosed early and attacked with the latest treatments, it still has the power to kill.
To help raise money to find cures and treatments for cancer patients, the “Stand Up to Cancer” telethon will air on ABC, NBC and CBS and other networks and cable stations starting at 8 p.m. ET tonight. The telethon will feature a host of celebrity guests, including George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Renee Zellweger and Will Smith.
“‘Stand Up To Cancer’ represents collaborative efforts” to provide funding for cancer research, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, told MyHealthNewsDaily.
“We would not be where we are if basic and clinical science wasn’t funded,” Lichtenfeld said. “Basic science teaches us about mechanisms, about how drugs may be effective, and we take that info and put it into a clinic to find out whether or not those new ideas work in cancer treatment.”
Cancer cells, and how they grow, remain unpredictable and in some cases mysterious. Even after seemingly effective treatments, crafty cancer cells are able to hide out in some patients and resurface.
National Veterans Service Fund
Kraft by name, crafty by nature at the helm of the National Veterans Service Fund is one Phillip Kraft . The charity boasts of providing support and care to the nations veterans, but the only donation the IRS has ever been able to trace to the organization is an insignificant sum towards a health clinic dealing in birth defects. The majority of the rest of the money has been used to line crafty Krafts pockets. Kraft remains unrepentant of the charitys less than stellar record, telling As Vet Like Me: A small percentage of something is better than 100 percent of nothing.
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Morphological Types Of Dcis
Historically, DCIS has been divided into five architectural subtypes:
Some cases of DCIS have a single growth pattern, but the majority shows a mixture of patterns.
A minority of DCIS lesion shows rarely additional morphologic variations, which include signet ring cells, neuroendocrine differentiation or multinucleated giant cells, apocrine metaplastic cells, and squamous features in cases.
Childrens Cancer Recovery Foundation
The Childrens Cancer Recovery Foundation is one of 8 similarly dubious charities run by Greg Anderson. As with all his other worthy endeavors, the Childrens Cancer Recovery Foundation uses the underhand tactic of passing off soliciting calls as charitable donations on their tax returns. As a result of training its solicitors to discuss how individuals can lessen their chances of a cancer diagnosis, 80% of the charitys annual profits end up in the hands of its solicitors .
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as quitting smoking, if you smoke. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer.
Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or a benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand whats causing your symptoms.
Tests that can help diagnose breast cancer include:
- Mammogram. The most common way to see below the surface of your breast is with an imaging test called a mammogram. Many women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an abnormal area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests.
- Ultrasound. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast. An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
Your doctor may also suggest tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Breast Cancer Survival Rate
Breast cancer survival rates vary widely based on many factors.
Two of the most important factors are the type of cancer you have and the stage of the cancer at the time you receive a diagnosis. Other factors that may play a role include your age, gender, and race.
shows theres a higher mortality rate in non-white people diagnosed with breast cancer compared with white people. One reason for this may be healthcare disparities.
The good news is breast cancer survival rates are improving.
According to the ACS , in 1975, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer in women was 75.2 percent. But for women diagnosed between 2008 and 2014, it was 90.6 percent.
Five-year survival rates for breast cancer differ depending on stage at diagnosis, ranging from 99 percent for localized, early stage cancers to 27 percent for advanced, metastatic cancers.
Women Older Than 65 Have Worse Outcomes After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Tags:Progesterone-Receptor Positive, Estrogen-Receptor Positive, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Invasive or Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma, Luminal A Breast Cancer, Luminal B Breast Cancer, 65 and older, Early-stage: Stage 0 — DCIS , Early-stage: Stage IA, Early-stage: Stage IB, Early-stage: Stage IIA, Early-stage: Stage IIB, and Early-stage: Stage IIIA
A large study has found that women older than 65 diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer had worse outcomes than younger women with similar diagnoses. The research was published in the Feb. 15, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Nearly 9,800 women participated in the TEAM trial:
- 1,357 were 75 or older
- 3,060 were age 65 to 74
- 5,349 were younger than 65
All the women were diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. All had surgery to remove the cancer and then got hormonal therapy according to the study’s protocol. Some of the women got other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as directed by their doctors. The women were followed for different periods of time after diagnosis. Half were followed for more than 5 years and the other half were followed for fewer than 5 years.
Older women were more likely to die during the study’s follow-up period. By age range, the proportion of women who died from breast cancer was:
- 8.3% 75 or older
- 6.3% age 65 to 74
- 5.7% younger than 65
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Cancer Fund Of America
Cancer Fund of America is just one of many philanthropic centers run by James T Reynolds and his somewhat crooked family. That the no-shame Reynolds takes home an annual salary of around $230,000 is bad enough . That the charity only manages to find it in its heart to give 2.5% of its donations to support the families of cancer victims and fund cancer research is even worse. If you want to subsidize the flash lifestyle of Reynolds, then go right ahead and donate. If youd rather your money found its way into the pockets of who it should, then maybe find yourself a better cause.
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Breast Exam By Your Doctor
The same guidelines for self-exams provided above are true for breast exams done by your doctor or other healthcare professional. They wont hurt you, and your doctor may do a breast exam during your annual visit.
If youre having symptoms that concern you, its a good idea to have your doctor do a breast exam. During the exam, your doctor will check both of your breasts for abnormal spots or signs of breast cancer.
Your doctor may also check other parts of your body to see if the symptoms youre having could be related to another condition.
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Charity Watch: Top Breast Cancer Charities
The American Institute of Philanthropys Charity Watch cites 12 organizations as the top-rated cancer charities and of those there are three on the list that focus specifically on breast cancer prevention and research.
- Mission: Working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.
- Program percentage: 77%
- Cost to raise $100: $13
Charity Watch also gives top ratings to these broader cancer organizations on the list that are also involved in breast cancer research, treatment and education: Cancer Research Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Entertainment Industry Foundations Stand Up To Cancer.
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%|
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Committee For Missing Children
Like Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth, the next entry to our list reports to help return missing children to the parents arms. In reality, only 2% of donations go towards the cause. The rest, funnily enough, somewhere makes it into the likes of director David Thelens pockets. Thelen may defend his excessive salary by claiming to spend endless hours counseling the families of the missing children, but we doubt theyll be very thankful when they find out how little practical effort the charity puts into finding their kids.
American Breast Cancer Foundation
The 2nd cancer research charity to make our list is the American Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization set up in 1997 with the intent of funding health education and free breast exams for women. I say intent as one of the worst charities in the US, its managed to achieve only 2 of the 4 available stars awarded by Charity Navigator, an organization dedicated to informing us about the best and worst charities out there) any evidence that any of the thousands its raised through appeals have made their way to the appropriate services is so thin on the ground as to be non-existent.
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Childrens Cancer Fund Of America
Remember James Reynolds from the Cancer Fund of America . Hes back or at least, his on-off wife Rose Parkins is. Parkins heads up the Childrens Cancer Fund of America, a foundation that allows her to draw a healthy annual salary of $227,000 , a figure that is just about matched by the funds annual donations to charity. Of the millions of dollars worth of medical supplies it claims to have donated to developing nations, theres no sign. Perhaps they ended up in the same place the Reynolds familys credibility did
How Quickly Do Breast Cancer Tumors Grow From Stage To Stage
Cancer cells divide and multiply quickly in such a way that as a tumor gets bigger, it divides and grows even faster. The average doubling time for breast cancer tumors is between 50 and 200 days. Breast cancer tumor growth rate is impacted by hormonal factors, such as hormone receptor status and HER2 status.
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Basal Type Breast Cancer
Basal type breast cancer has particular genetic changes in the cells. The cells make large amounts of a protein called cytokeratin 5/6.
Basal type breast cancers are often triple negative. This means that they don’t have many receptors for oestrogen, progesterone, or HER2. So, hormone therapies and targeted drugs don’t work for most basal type cancers.
Doctors use other treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, instead.
Infiltrating/invasive Lobular Breast Carcinoma
Infiltrating lobular carcinoma usually appears as a subtle thickening in the upper-outer breast quadrant.
As the name suggests, these tumours originate mostly in the breast lobules rather than the lining of the breast ducts.
Invasive lobular cancer is a less common type of breast cancer than invasive ductal cancer. This cancer accounts for about 10% of all invasive breast cancer cases.
Prognosis for infiltrating and invasive lobular breast carcinomas will naturally be influenced by tumor size, grade, stage and hormone receptor status..
However, lobular breast cancers, when positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, tend to respond very well to hormone therapy.
The overall breast cancer survival rates for infiltrating lobular carcinoma, when matched by stage, are a little higher than for ductal carcinoma for the first 5 years.
Survival rates range from about 77% to 93%, but on average, the 5-year survival rate was estimated at about 90%.
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What Is Stage Ii Breast Cancer
Stage II describes cancer that is in a limited region of the breast but has grown larger. It reflects how many lymph nodes may contain cancer cells. This stage is divided into two subcategories.
Stage IIA is based on one of the following:
- Either there is no tumor in the breast or there is a breast tumor up to 20 millimeters , plus cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
- A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, but cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage IIB is based on one of these criteria:
- A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, along with cancer that has spread to between one and three nearby lymph nodes.
- A tumor in the breast is larger than 50 millimeters, but cancer has not spread to any lymph nodes.
Examples Using The Full Staging System
Because there are so many factors that go into stage grouping for breast cancer, it’s not possible to describe here every combination that might be included in each stage. The many different possible combinations mean that two women who have the same stage of breast cancer might have different factors that make up their stage.
Here are 3 examples of how all of the factors listed above are used to determine the pathologic breast cancer stage:
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What Are The Different Types Of Breast Cancer
Noninvasive breast cancer
Noninvasive cancer forms within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. Although healthy breast tissue is not yet affected, the cancer may progress at any time and immediate treatment is crucial.
There are two main types of noninvasive breast cancer:
Invasive breast cancer
Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread outside the ducts and lobules into the surrounding tissues. Types of invasive breast cancer include:
How Is The Stage Determined
The staging system most often used for breast cancer is the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system. The most recent AJCC system, effective January 2018, has both clinical and pathologic staging systems for breast cancer:
- The pathologic stage is determined by examining tissue removed during an operation.
- Sometimes, if surgery is not possible right away or at all, the cancer will be given a clinical stage instead. This is based on the results of a physical exam, biopsy, and imaging tests. The clinical stage is used to help plan treatment. Sometimes, though, the cancer has spread further than the clinical stage estimates, and may not predict the patients outlook as accurately as a pathologic stage.
In both staging systems, 7 key pieces of information are used:
- The extent of the tumor : How large is the cancer? Has it grown into nearby areas?
- The spread to nearby lymph nodes : Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes? If so, how many?
- The spread to distant sites : Has the cancer spread to distant organs such as the lungs or liver?
- Estrogen Receptor status: Does the cancer have the protein called an estrogen receptor?
- Progesterone Receptor status: Does the cancer have the protein called a progesterone receptor?
- Her2 status: Does the cancer make too much of a protein called Her2?
- Grade of the cancer : How much do the cancer cells look like normal cells?
In addition, Oncotype Dx® Recurrence Score results may also be considered in the stage in certain circumstances.
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