Breast Cancer Review

Breast Cancer Survival

It is important to first note that breast cancer survival rates are going up all the time, due to detection of cancers in earlier stages and through the large body of improved and newer treatment procedures. The most acknowledged key to breast cancer survival is early detection of the disease. After the diagnosis of cancer, however, there are also several items which can indicate a patient’s survival potential or prognosis.

Along with a small size tumor, if the patient does not have involvement of her lymph nodes, this is the best indicator of survival. If the estrogen and progesterone receptor tests done on the removed cancer cells indicate hormone therapy (usually with Tamoxifen) may stop the growth of the tumor, this is also a good indicator. If the microscopic appearance of the cancer cells have clear differentiation, rather than poor differentiation, the histologic grade would be smaller and would better survival chances. If a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor is present in the tumor, however, this is not good for the patient’s outcome. There is a test called the DNA flow cytometry which rates the amount of normal DNA and also the percentage of cells that are dividing: the higher the amount of normal DNA and the lower the amount of cell division indicates a better prognosis for breast cancer survival.

Usually the stage of a person’s tumor indicates the breast cancer survival rate. According to the American Cancer Society, the following list of percentages indicates the 5-year rate of survival for breast cancer patients:

  • Stage 0: 100%
  • Stage I: 96%
  • Stage IIA: 88%
  • Stage IIB: 76%
  • Stage IIIA: 56%
  • Stage IIIB: 49%
  • Stage IV: 16%

These are only statistics. Because survival rates are rising and because every patient’s characteristics are different, these statistics do not indicate exact results but only form a basis for discussion of breast cancer survival.

To become more proactive as a breast cancer survivor, it is recommended that each patient make changes in diet and lifestyle, reducing the breast cancer risks that can be limited. In addition, the woman needs total understanding of the physician’s instructions for follow-up treatment and faithful observance of those instructions, so her chances of breast cancer survival will increase.

Breast Cancer Resources

American Cancer Society

People Living With Cancer

United States National Library of Medicine

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Health Coverage from Health Insurance .org

WebMD Health

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

National Cancer Institute

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Foundation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Women’s Information Network Against Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Cancer News On the Net

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

Mothers Supporting Daughters With Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Online

National Breast Cancer Coalition

Breast Cancer Fund

Breast Cancer Action

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Campaign

Cancer BACUP

Canadian Breast Cancer Network

Breast Cancer Society of Canada

Breast Cancer Action – Ottawa

Info Breast Cancer

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

National Breast Cancer Centre

National Breast Cancer Foundation

New South Wales Breast Cancer Institute

Breast Cancer Stages
Known Risk Factors
Breast Cancer Survival
Recurrence Information
Breast Cancer Metastasis
Detection and Diagnosis
Male Breast Cancer

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