Breast Cancer (Facts, Stages) (cont.)

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What are the survival rates and prognosis for breast cancer?

Breast cancer, especially when diagnosed early, can have an excellent prognosis. Survival rates for breast cancer depend upon the extent to which the cancer has spread and the treatment received. Statistics for survival are based upon women who were diagnosed years ago, and since therapies are constantly improving, current survival rates may be even higher.

Statistics are often reported as 5-year survival rates by stage of the tumor. The following statistics from the National Cancer Data Base reflect patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past:

Breast Cancer 5-Year Survival Rates
Breast Cancer Stage 5-Year Survival Rate
0 100%
I 100%
II 93%
III 72%
IV 22%

What research is being performed on breast cancer?

Breast cancer remains an area of active ongoing research into all aspects of diagnosis and management. Research studies to better characterize and classify breast tumors at the time of diagnosis by studying tumor markers -- genes or proteins that are expressed differently in tumors -- can help determine what type of therapy will be most effective for an individual patient. For example, hormone receptors and HER2 are known tumor markers for breast cancer that help guide treatment decisions.

Clinical trials are always ongoing to test new treatment regimens and to determine the appropriate length of treatment. Studies are also ongoing to test which types of radiation therapy and which schedules for radiation therapy are most effective. Other studies are focused on discovering the optimal length of treatment with hormone therapy and the optimum drug choices for hormone therapy in pre- and postmenopausal women. New drugs and new targeted therapies are under investigation as well.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/19/2014

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Breast Cancer - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience when you developed breast cancer?
Breast Cancer - Stages Question: What stage was your breast cancer when you were diagnosed?
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