Breast Cancer - Prognosis

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What is the prognosis of breast cancer?

Survival rates are a way for health care professionals to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis with their patients. You have to determine if you want to know this number or not and should let your health care professional know.

The number most frequently discussed is 5-year survival. It is the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer. Many of these patients live much longer, and some patients die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change in therapies, these numbers also change. The current 5-year survival statistic is based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today.

All of this needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting these numbers for yourself.

Below are the statistics from the national cancer database and reflect patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past:

Stage 5-year survival rate
0 100%
I 100%
II 93%
III 72%
IV 22%
Return to Breast Cancer

See what others are saying

Comment from: Helen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 15

At the end of June 2012, I experienced sudden sharp pains in my right breast and followed through the next days with doctor visit, mammogram, ultra sound and biopsy. Within a week I learned that I have stage 4 breast cancer. I have taken Letrozole for 14 months with excellent results; however, now I have a new place in my liver, so the doctor has switched me to Tamoxifen, as of 4 days ago. I don't feel like a "survivor" at all, since I will not survive this illness and probably will not last more than 2 years. I've enjoyed my life during the past 14 months and hope to enjoy a few more months. Because I am now 82, I can face death rationally, although my mother lived to 94 years.

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