The breast cancer survival rate for women in the United States is really quite good. This is especially true with breast cancer that is detected in its earliest stages. In fact, both stage 0 and stage 1 breast cancer have a virtually 100 percent five-year survival rate.
The breast cancer survival rate for later stages of breast cancer gets more hopeful every year, because of state-of-the-art treatments and ongoing research. Since there is not one definitive cause of breast cancer, there is also no singular cure. That could change, however, in the years to come because breakthroughs in breast cancer research are being made all the time.
There are several different factors that are considered when determining the breast cancer survival rate. These include:
– biologic markers
– hormone receptors
– location of tumor
– speed of cell division and growth
– tumor shape and size.
One of the most decisive details that contributes to breast cancer survival is the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. Cancer that is diagnosed very early is cured virtually every single time. In its earliest stages – stage 0 and stage 1 – the cancer is contained within the area of the breast where it originated and has not spread at all.
This type of cancer has a 100 percent survival rate, so you can understand why doctors recommend regular breast cancer exams and yearly mammograms. This is because early stage breast cancer has few outward symptoms, and it is usually detected through medical testing.
Stage 2 cancer has a lower survival rate, but the prognosis is still quite high. Even in its most advanced condition – stage 2B – this type of breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of more than 80 percent. The earliest levels of stage 2 cancer have a five-year survival rate of more than 90 percent.
Stage 3 breast cancer is more severe and indicates that the cancer may have to spread to areas outside the breast. Still, with diagnosis and treatment, more than half of the women diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer live for at least five years after diagnosis.
In stage 4, the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body that are not in the vicinity of the breast. This can include the bones, brain, liver and lungs. This stage of breast cancer can also spread into the lymph nodes that are located in the neck, which makes additional spreading more likely.
There are a significant number of different treatments for late stage breast cancer, and even though the survival rate is fairly low – approximately 20 percent – new discoveries are always being made that make early detection and treatment of late stage cancer more successful.
While all of this information is beneficial, the most important thing every woman should know about the breast survival rate is that it is always improving.