Breast Cancer Survival Rate – Stage 1 Breast Cancer
With very early detection, the breast cancer survival rate is excellent. The American Cancer Society reports a 5-year survival rate of 98% to 100% for Stage 1 breast cancer after treatment.
Stage 1 breast cancer is less than 2 centimeters in diameter and has not spread beyond the breast tissue itself.
Currently, 63% of breast cancer for U. S. white women is detected and diagnosed while it is still localized to the breast tissue as Stage 1 breast cancer. Only 53% of breast cancer in U. S. black women is diagnosed while the breast cancer is still localized.
The difference in early detection rates between white women and black women is usually attributed to economic disparity and the lack of health insurance. It also helps explain the fact that in the U. S., breast cancer incidence for black women is 11% lower than for white women, but the breast cancer death rate for black women is 35% higher (NCI, SEER, 2007). The death rate increases when breast cancer detection and diagnosis are postponed while the cancer spreads.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute predicts that approximately 178,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2007. The annual death rate from breast cancer is around 41,000 in the U.S. North American white women have the highest rate of breast cancer in the world.
Improving breast cancer survival rates by early detection requires regular observation, monthly self-examinations, and following medical recommendations for examinations and testing.
Monthly self-examinations should be done at the same time each month. Clinical examinations by a health care provider should start by the time a woman is 20 years old and continue at least every three years until age 40. After age 40, the clinical exams should be included in the annual health check-ups. Annual mammograms after age 40 will help detect breast cancer at the earliest stages.
Since 1 in every 8 women will face a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lives, improving the breast cancer survival rate should also include breast cancer prevention by reducing risk factors. Some breast cancer risk factors like genetics and family history can’t be changed, but they account for only a small percentage of breast cancer cases. Factors that have shown an increase in breast cancer include overweight, hormone therapy, and increased alcohol consumption. Factors that may help breast cancer prevention include breast feeding, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular exercise.