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What’s The Survival Rate For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

A Little Bit More About Staging And Survival Rates

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Explained

In general, the lower the grade of the breast cancer on diagnosis the better the prognosis rate.

Obviously if the tumor can be detected and treated before the size of 2cm and before it has affected nearby lymph nodes, then the overall survival rate is very good, as we have seen.

A recent 2012 medical study found tumor size to be a strong predictor for 15 year survival rates in both node-negative and positive groups.

Furthermore, this study shows that tumor size had a greater impact on 15 year survival in the node positive group. The research concluded that screening for more advanced stages of breast cancer could well be more beneficial than for those at an earlier stage.

Overall Breast Cancer Survival Rate For All Stages Of Breast Cancer

The overall 5 year survival rate for women with breast cancer was 89.7%. That is 89.7 out of 100 women were still alive 5 years after diagnosis, regardless of the stage of the cancer. This figure was taken from the SEERS statistics between the years of 2006 and 2012, so could well be even higher now.

A New Gene Drug Combined With Hormone Therapy Has The Capability To Improved The Survival Rate Of Women With Stage Four Cancer Called As Metastatic Cancer

Written by Kinkini Gupta | Updated : June 6, 2022 3:23 PM IST

A new gene drug combined with hormone therapy has the capability to improved the survival rate of women with a genetic abnormality in their cancer. The results, published in the Lancet Oncology journal, showed patients with metastatic breast cancer who were given the drug Capivasertib, developed by AstraZeneca, survived almost twice as long than those given the standard treatment alone.

Capivasertib is a leading targeted inhibitor of the cancer-driving protein AKT, also known as PKB. The protein is a key node in a signaling network that becomes deregulated in a range of cancers and helps to drive the disease. This particular study compared the effectiveness of capivasetib, which inhibits AKT activity and combined it with fulvestrant, which is a hormone treatment that doctors currently use.

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Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Advanced breast cancer refers to cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. This process of spreading from the original location to a new location is known as metastasis.

The most common places of breast cancer spread include the bones, liver, lung, and brain. However, breast cancer may also spread to other organs.

The majority of women who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have been diagnosed with an earlier stage of breast cancer before. In this instance, the original cancer in the breast is called the primary cancer. However, for some women, a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer may be their first diagnosis of cancer .

How Do Breast Cancer Cells Spread Around The Body

Breast Cancer Survival: Statistics and Facts

Breast cancer cells travel through the body like any other cancer cells. Firstly, cancer cells can invade neighbouring healthy tissue. Following this, the cancer cells then invade local lymph nodes or blood vessels.

When breast cancer spreads to the axillary lymph nodes this is still a relatively early stage of metastasis, and potentially curable.

The cancer cells will typically travel through the lymphatic system or blood vessels to other distant parts of the body.

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De Novo Metastatic Breast Cancer And Recurrent Breast Cancer

It is important to understand the two types of Stage IV Breast Cancer and the differences between them:-

  • De Novo metastatic breast cancer: This term refers to women who are Stage IV at the initial diagnosis of breast cancer. That is, cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. De novo metastatic breast cancer accounts for only around 6% of cases at diagnosis in the US.
  • Recurrent Breast Cancer: More often, breast cancer returns or spreads after the initial diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. This recurrence can happen months, or even years, after the first presentation and treatment.
  • What Is Stage 0 Breast Cancer

    Also called carcinoma in situ, stage 0 is the earliest breast cancer stage. At stage 0, the breast mass is noninvasive, and there is no indication that the tumor cells have spread to other parts of the breast or other parts of the body. Often, stage 0 is considered a precancerous condition that typically requires close observation, but not treatment.

    Stage 0 breast cancer is difficult to detect. There may not be a lump that can be felt during a self-examination, and there may be no other symptoms. However, breast self-exams and routine screening are always important and can often lead to early diagnosis of breast cancer, when the cancer is most treatable. Stage 0 disease is most often found by accident during a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump.

    There are two types of stage 0 breast cancer:

    Ductal carcinoma in situ occurs when breast cancer cells develop in the breast ducts. Today, stage 0 DCIS is being diagnosed more often because more women are having routine mammogram screenings. DCIS can become invasive, so early treatment can be important.

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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.

    Is It Possible To Survive Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer Survival Rates Explained

    While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, it is possible to control it with treatment for a number of years. The cancer can also go into remission. There are different types of remission:

    • Complete remission : when there are no cancer signs and symptoms that can be detected by tests or scans.
    • Partial remission : when the cancer has partly responded to treatment. It is still present but it has gotten smaller.

    It is currently not possible to predict how long remission will last. However, the repeated cycle of growing, shrinking and stabilising can mean survival for many years. New treatments also continue to be developed. Treatment can help to control the cancer, help relieve symptoms and help you live longer.

    It is not always easy, but many people find that with time, they are able to adjust to their diagnosis. Despite the many challenges that metastatic breast cancer brings, people can continue to live full, meaningful lives.

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    Understanding Breast Cancer Metastasis

    Metastasis is a complex process in which malignantcancer cells from the breast spread into other regions of the body. Once metastasis has occurred, it is much more difficult to effectively treat breast cancer.

    If breast cancer has metastasized to other areas of the body, it is termed a Stage IV breast cancer. Sometimes metastasis has occurred at the time the original breast cancer is diagnosed.

    However, in other cases, the metastasis of breast cancer is found months or even years after the initial treatment. This would be termed a recurrent breast cancer.

    What Are Causes And Risk Factors For Triple

    Although there are known risk factors for the development of any kind of breast cancer, doctors do not understand the exact cause of breast cancer.

    • Normal cells become cancer cells due to changes or mutations in the DNA.
    • While people inherit some DNA changes, others acquire these DNA changes during a person’s life.

    The following are causes and risk factors for any type of breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer:

    • Increasing age

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    New Medications For Metastatic Breast Cancer

    The immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors have led to a significant improvement in survival rates for lung cancer and melanoma. In March of 2019 the first immunotherapy drug, Tecentriq was approved for triple-negative breast cancer that is metastatic . As noted above, there are at least a few people who have had excellent responses in clinical trials prior to approval.

    PARP inhibitors are also a class of medications that may alter survival rates in the future, particularly among women who have hereditary breast cancer .

    For bone metastases, bone-modifying drugs may be effective in treating both metastases, and may reduce the development of further metastases in bone.

    Finally, for people who have only a single or a few metastases , treating these metastases locally may be an option. While studies are young, treating oligometastases may improve survival or even lead to long term survival for a minority of people.

    In addition, for some people treated with immunotherapy, local radiation may sometimes improve the response of immunotherapy, something known as the abscopal effect. Since immunotherapy is such a recent addition to breast cancer, its not known how common this response may be or if it will be seen at all.

    Can Metastatic Breast Cancer Go Into Remission

    Stage IV breast cancer

    Metastatic breast cancer may never go away completely. But treatment can control its spread. Cancer may even go into remission at some points. This means you have fewer signs and symptoms of cancer.

    A treatment break may be considered in certain situations, including if remission occurs or if someone is experiencing intolerable side effects. A pause in treatment can help you feel your best and improve your quality of life.

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    What Can I Expect While Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Your care team will monitor you every few months to check if the cancer is responding to treatment, and also to see if you are having any side effects. The process of restaging the cancer includes:

    • History/physical exam.
    • Blood tests.
    • Imaging tests, including CTs and bone scan or PET scan.

    Before your scans or tests, its normal to feel anxiety. It may help to bring a friend or family member to the appointment with you.

    Men With Breast Cancer Have Lower Survival Rates Than Women

    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.

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    Lung Cancer In Men And Women

    Men are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than women, by a small margin.

    The ACS estimates that 119,100 men and 116,660 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States during 2021.

    This trend holds up for lung cancer-related deaths, too. Its projected that 131,880 people in the United States will die from lung cancer during 2021.

    Of that number, the ACS projects a breakdown of 69,410 men and 62,470 women.

    To put that into perspective, the chance a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is 1 in 15. For women, that chance is 1 in 17.

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    What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Surgery has survival benefits for male Stage IV breast cancer patients receptive to systemic therapy

    If youve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, ask your provider:

    • What are my treatment options?
    • What is my prognosis?
    • What side effects can I expect?
    • Will complementary therapy help me feel better?
    • What if I want to stop treatment?
    • How can I feel my best during treatment?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Metastatic breast cancer is advanced breast cancer. Providers classify it as stage 4 breast cancer. It happens when cancer cells, often left behind after previous breast cancer treatment, start to spread to other parts of the body. While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, treatment can prolong your life and help you feel better. There are many medications available, so if one treatment isnt working, your care team can try a different approach. If you notice any symptoms or dont feel your best, especially if youve undergone breast cancer treatment in the past, talk to your healthcare provider.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/14/2021.

    References

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    What Is A 5

    A relative survival rate compares women with the same type and stage of breast cancer to women in the overall population.For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer is 90%, it means that women who have that cancer are, on average, about 90% as likely as women who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.

    Are New Treatments For Metastatic Cancer Being Developed

    Yes. Researchers are now studying new ways to kill or stop the growth of primary cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells. One new area of research includes ways to boost the strength of the immune response against tumors.

    Regulatory T-cells and RANKL proteins may play a role in breast cancer metastasisRecent breast cancer research suggests that the bodys regulatory T cells, which are an integral part of the immune response system, may play a key role in metastasis.

    It is speculated that the T cells produce a protein which seems to accelerate the spread of breast cancer cells to other areas of the body. The inflammatory protein RANKL seems to influence the T-cells ability to spread cancer cells to distant areas of the body.

    It is believed that by interfering with RANKLs ability to interact with the T-cells, the early metastasis of breast cancer cells can be significantly inhibited

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    Its Never Too Late To Exercise

    Exercise is important for your overall mental and physical health. Since fatigue is often a symptom associated with stage 4 breast cancer, it can help to plan your exercise during your most energetic time of day.

    Consistency is key. Its better to exercise in small amounts every day than to follow an extreme pattern of occasional intense activity between long periods of inactivity.

    While there are potential benefits to exercise when you have stage 4 cancer, its important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

    If your blood counts are low or your electrolyte levels are imbalanced, most healthcare providers wont recommend exercising because you could put yourself at risk for further harm.

    Also, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding public places, like gyms, because of your risk for germ exposure.

    Safety is always a concern when you have stage 4 breast cancer. Bleeding and risks of injury are important considerations.

    Some women experience balance and foot numbness problems due to their treatments and fatigue. If this is the case, its best to do exercises that put you at less risk for falls. An example could be riding a stationary bicycle instead of running on a treadmill.

    There might not be a direct link between exercise and stage 4 breast cancer survival rates, but you can reap other benefits from regular exercise.

    For example, it may help you:

    • lose excess body fat
    • improve your quality of life
    • reduce side effects from treatment

    What Treatments Are Used For Metastatic Cancer

    Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survival Rate By Age

    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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    Expert Review And References

    • American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer. 2015: .
    • de Boer M, van Dijck JA, Bult P, Borm GF, Tjan-Heijnen VC. Breast cancer prognosis and occult lymph node metastases, isolated tumor cells, and micrometastases. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Oxford University Press 2010.
    • Lonning PE. Breast cancer prognostication and prediction: are we making progress?. Annals of Oncology. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007.
    • Morrow M, Burstein HJ, and Harris JR. Malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 79: 1117-1156.
    • Tripathy D, Eskenazi LB, Goodson, WH, et al. Breast. Ko, A. H., Dollinger, M., & Rosenbaum, E. Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy: How Cancer is Diagnosed, Treated and Managed Day to Day. 5th ed. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing 2008: pp. 473-514.

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