Breast Cancer Survival Rate

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Published: 03rd December 2010
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You must accept the fact that not all patients who undergo breast cancer treatments are able to survive. It is but natural for you to want to know about the breast cancer survival rate before you decide to go for a particular treatment.

Survival rates differ and it would depend on the stage of the cancer you’re currently in. What is this rate all about?
You can describe the survival rate in several ways such as:
1. Time – upon diagnosis, a patient is given 5-10 years to survive
2. Recurrence – there are times when recurrence take place after the cancer cells have been removed
3. Death risk as compared to other people with the same health condition

Survival rate is usually categorized based on the breast cancer stages. Stage ‘0’ means that the cancer is still non-invasive. The cancerous cells can only be found in the walls of the lump or mass inside the breast.

When you reach Stage 1, the tumor has already grown about 2 cm long and it is already considered invasive. Stage 2A happens when the tumor is already 2 to 5 cm long.

The Stage 2B refers to tumors more or less 2 cm long but some of the auxiliary lymph nodes are already affected. When the tumor reaches above 5 cm and has already affected the lymph nodes, it is already classified as Stage 3A breast cancer; and when the tumor invades the skin of the breasts, the cancer is in Stage 3B. The advanced breast cancer is classified under Stage 4 wherein other organs of the body are already infected with the cancer cells.
The different stages can also be divided into the early stage (0 to 2A), the later stage (2B to 3A and B), and the advanced stage (stage 4). The treatment plan is generally based on the stage of the breast cancer.

Today, the survival rates for breast cancer are 86% (for the 5-year period after diagnosis) and 76% (for the 10-year period).
Breast cancer patients without metastatic has a rate of survival of 96% while those with metastatic has a rate of 21%. The percentage is based on the 5-year period after diagnosis.

There are also established survival rates for each stage of breast cancer within the 5-year period. The following are the rates: Stage 0 – 100%, Stage 1 is 100%, Stage 2A is 92%, Stage 2B is 81%, Stage 3A is 67%, Stage 3B is 54%, and Stage 4 is 20%.

As you can see, if you’re still in the 0 and first stage, you have a 100% chance to recover from the disease. It is therefore very important to detect breast cancer during these stages. Besides, the medications used for the early stages are more affordable as compared to the medications or treatments given to the late stages.

Now, aside from the stages of breast cancer, the survival rate is also affected by other factors like lifestyle, exercise, psychological therapy, and smoking. Did you know that some breast cancer patients are able to live longer because they made changes in their lifestyle?

If you want to determine if you have breast cancer or if this disease runs in the family, it would be best to undergo a mammogram or you can also conduct self examinations. This is one way of discovering mass or lumps in your breast. The breast cancer survival rate is quite high but you’ll need to detect the cancer at an early stage.


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