Breast Cancer Stages - Staging Information
- Breast Cancer Survival Rate by Stage
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer
- Paget's Disease of the Nipple
- Recurrence of Breast Cancer
- Additional Resources and References
Health care professionals are able to be predict a patient's survival rate based on the determined stage of breast cancer. The following chart is an approximate survival rate for each stage of breast cancer. Percentages will vary depending on individual medical situations, etc.
|Stage||5-year Relative Survival Rate|
Source: American Cancer Society, 2011. The numbers come from the National Cancer Data Base, and are based on people who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and 2002.
A five-year survival rate refers to the average number of patients who are still alive five years after diagnosis with a specific stage of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates do not include patients who die from other causes. After seven years, the survival rate decreases for each stage.
It is important to remember that these survival rates are based on averages. Some women with advanced breast cancer live significantly longer than seven years. Researchers are constantly developing new treatment alternatives to prolong breast cancer survival.
Inflammatory breast cancer is the appearance of inflamed breasts (red and warm) with dimples and/or ridges caused by the infiltration of tumor cells into the lymphatics. Inflammatory breast cancer can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) conditions (such as mastitis) and inflammatory malignancy (cancerous conditions). Though rare, inflammatory breast cancer may spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Treatment of inflammatory breast cancer treatment is generally quite similar to the treatment of Stage IIIB or IV breast cancer. In addition, patients usually undergo chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and/or radiation treatment. Patients who respond positively to systemic treatment may be candidates for mastectomy.
Paget's disease of the nipple is a rare form of breast cancer that begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and areola. The skin may appear crusted, red, or oozing. Prognosis is better if nipple changes are the only sign of the breast disease and no lump is felt.
If cancer reoccurs after mastectomy, additional surgery may be necessary to remove tumors near the mastectomy site, followed byradiation therapy. Chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy may also be administered.
Alternative treatment options for recurrent breast cancer include:
- Hormone therapy
- Surgery and/or radiation therapy ifcancer is confined to one area and is operable
- Entry into a clinical trial testing new chemotherapy or hormonal drugs, or biological therapy
- Removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) is also a possible treatment option for recurrent breast cancer, though the procedure is rarely performed in the United States.
- American Cancer Society provides detailed information on breast cancer staging, www.cancer.org