Survival Rates Of Breast Cancer At Different Stages

Survival Rates Of Breast Cancer At Different Stages

Where the disease has not metastasized, the five-year survival rate for women suffering from breast cancer is about 86%. That percentage means that 86% of women who develop breast cancer live for at least five years after diagnosis. The good news is that depending on the stage it is discovered, the survival rate can be even higher than the overall average.

As with most cancers, breast cancer, develops in stages. A standard classification of letters and numbers is used to describe the stages – T, N and M and 0-IV. The alphabet T denotes the size of the tumor while alphabet N denotes that it has spread to the lymph nodes and the alphabet M means distant metastasis. When a primary tumor spreads to another area/s and forms more tumors, it has metastasized.

When a tumor cannot be assessed, it is designated the classification of TX. Where there is no indication of cancer, T0 is used. If one of the following forms is suspected – DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) or Paget’s disease (where the nipple and/or areola is cancerous) – Tis is used.

Stage 0 indicates that the cancer is in its earliest stage. Stage I indicates that tumors have not spread and are less than 2cm in size. A tumor that is 2-5cm in diameter is classified as Stage II, and a tumor larger than 5cm is considered Stage III. When a tumor has attached to the chest wall and spread to the lymph nodes it is considered to be Stage IV.

Today, due to medical advances, many breast cancers are diagnosed and treated during the early stages.

When treatment is given to patients who are at Stage 0 or 1, the survival rates are almost 100%. And yes, men can develop breast cancer, though at a far lower rate of 1/133 when compared to women. For those with cancer in Stage II, the survival rate is at 81% to 92%. At Stage III the rate lowers to 67%, and then drops substantially to 20% at Stage IV.

Although it is a very serious illness, breast cancer is seldom life threatening. Women who have advanced stages of cancer have been known to live for more than seven years. As technology and medicine advance, survival rates increase. Even later stage cancer survival rates are rising as medical and treatment methods improve.

A fairly new method of diagnosing cancer is the QM-MSP (quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR) method. It was invented in 2001 and it involves tests done on fluids taken from the breast area. The chemical analysis undertaken during this test allows cancer to be detected with 86% reliability, and cancer clumps with as little as 50 cells can found. Treatment given in the early stages is highly effective, and new methods like this allow cancer to be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.

Treatments are also improving, with hormone therapy, targeted radiation and molecule specific drugs now readily available.

Breast cancer is no longer the death sentence it used to be. Although the disease is still a matter of serious concern, the chances of survival are high and treatments are now less invasive.

Survival Rates Of Breast Cancer At Different Stages

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