Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Statistics, Percentages And Prognosis

Survival Rates for breast cancer

Prognosis And Outlook

Breast Cancer Survival Rates


How Is A Survival Rate Defined?
Breast Cancer 5 Year Survival Rates
Europe And Worldwide Statistics
UK Percentages

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For an overview of topic:
Breast Cancer Guide

How Is A Survival Rate Defined?

A survival rate is the standard way a doctor will discuss a patient's prognosis. In other words the statistical odds of what will happen to a woman with the disease in question. The patient's outlook will be determined by her present state of health, her age, how far the disease has progressed, how aggressive it is and what cancer treatments are available. Postmenopause women with early stages of breast cancer for example have a much better prognosis than women with widespread ovarian cancer. But these are only group statistics and do not necessarily indicate what will happen to the individual concerned. For example many women who have been given terrible prognoses are still alive and kicking many years after they were supposed to be. Advances in treatments and cancer clinical trials may turn a bad prognosis into a good one. However it is worth mentioning that a survival rate does not necessarily indicate a 'cure'.

The following is a list of the 5 year survival rates for women who received a breast cancer diagnosis between 2001 and 2002. That is the percentage of those women who are still living 5 years later. It should be pointed out that many go on to live much longer than 5 years. Also the statistics do not take into account that some of the women may have died of other causes in the meantime. Furthermore, by definition the study only takes into account women who were treated 5 years ago and cannot take into account developments in breast cancer treatment since. The figures are derived from the National Cancer. Some women find the numbers useful, while others may not want to know them.

Note: Not all sub-stages of cancer are noted. The survival rate for a breast cancer stage not mentioned will be very similar to the overall stage.

Breast Cancer 5 Year Survival Rates

Stage: 0
Pre-cancer either ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).
Survival Rate: 93 percent

Stage: I
A small lump less than 2cm wide appears and has invaded the breast beyond the ducts and lobules. Stages 1 and 2 are likely to be treated with lumpectomy.
Survival Rate: 88 percent

Stage: IIA
Tumor larger than 2cm has been detected but cancer has not spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). The nodes have been infected.
Survival Rate: 81 percent

Stage: IIB
Tumor larger than 5cm has been detected but no sign of metastasis. The nodes have not been infected.
Survival Rate: 74 percent

Stage: IIIA
A tumor may or may not be more than 5cm wide and may have stuck to other tissues. No metastasis.
Survival Rate: 67 percent

Stage: IIIB
A lump of any size and cancer has grown into the chest wall or skin but has not spread beyond this area.
Survival Rate: 41 percent

Stage: IIIC

Tumor is any size and may have spread to the collar bone. It still has not spread to distant organs.
Survival Rate: 49 percent (note the figure is higher than IIIB)

Stage: IV
Invasive cancer which has spread to other organs.
Survival Rate: 15 percent

Compare Statistics To Other Female Cancers

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Ovarian Cancer Survival Rates

Europe And The Rest Of The World

The International Cancer Survival Standard which is a world standardization of the 5-year relative survival rate was recently published. Taking figures from 1990 to 1994 worldwide breast cancer rates varied significantly in different parts of the world. Ranging from 80 percent in North America, Sweden, Australia, Japan and Finland to less than 60 percent in Slovakia and Brazil to below 40 percent in Algeria (North Africa). England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland ranged between 70 to 79 percent.

United Kingdom Percentages

Survival rates in the UK and around the world have been improving significantly over the past 30 years. The most recent statistics available for England show that the 5-year survival rate (2001-06) is 82 percent for breast cancer. This is compared to 52 percent 30 years earlier.

Related Articles on Breast Cancer

For more advice for patients, see the following:

Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Leading Causes Of Death In Women

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