Stage 4 breast cancer survival rate may not be so favorable, but the life expectancy of a patient can be improved with the help of proper treatment. Read on, to know about the survival rate and life expectancy of breast cancer patients…
Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women due to cancer. Advanced technology, new researches, helpful diagnostic tests like the ‘mammography’ have helped improve the stage 4 breast cancer survival rate significantly, over last few decades. Although breast cancer is more common in women, it can also affect men. To understand the stage IV of breast cancer, here is an overview of breast cancer staging.
Breast Cancer Staging
Cancer detected in this stage is referred to as ‘carcinoma in situ (CIS)’ and ‘non-invasive cancer’. Cancer detected at this stage is 100% curable.
Cancer in this stage is referred to as invasive cancer, as it invades the adjacent normal tissues. The size of the tumor detected is about 2 centimeters and the cancer is confined to the original site.
This stage is subdivided into stage II A and B, depending upon the size of the tumor, number of tumors and spread of the tumor. The size and number of tumors grows and the tumor invades the lymph nodes under the arm.
This stage is further subdivided into stage III A, B and C, depending upon the size of the tumor, number of lymph nodes invaded, and spread of cancer to the chest wall, or the skin of the breast, or near the neck.
Metastasis of cancer into other distant organs indicates stage 4 breast cancer. During this stage, the cancer spreads into lungs, liver, bones, brain, etc.
Breast Cancer Survival Rate
- For stage 0 : 100%
- For stage I : 100%
- For stage II A : 92%
- For stage II B : 81%
- For stage III A : 67%
- For stage III B : 54%
- For stage III C : 58% (stage III B has worse survival rate than stage III C)
- For stage IV : 16-20%
The survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer can be still lower if the cancer is detected in later stages. It also depends on the physical and mental health of an individual, and treatment opted for. Breast cancer treatment includes removal of breast lump, or complete removal of the breast, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy. Stage 4 breast cancer cannot be cured.
Out of total breast cancer cases, only 1% cases are of male breast cancer. But the shocking fact is that the incidences of male breast cancers are increasing. Survival rates for men diagnosed with breast cancer are considerably low. Late detection of the disease, mainly due to a lack of awareness, lowers the survival rate.
Staging of cancer helps understand the prognosis of the patient’s condition. Breast cancer is supposed to be the ‘best cancer’, as it can be detected in early stages. It can be removed completely and the patient can lead a normal life when the cancer is detected in early stages. So, breast cancer survival rate for earlier stages is quite higher than that for the later stages. Staging helps determine the proper treatment.
Family history, stressful lifestyle increases the risk of breast cancer. Other factors like the age of the patient, overall health, the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed, tumor makers such as estrogen or HER2, availability of advanced treatment, and the patient’s response to the treatment, determine the prognosis.
Women should follow the method of ‘self testing’ which helps detect the cancer in early stage. Undergoing physical examination and an annual mammography test is essential after the age 40. With proper care, precautions and treatment, breast cancer can be cured, if detected at an early stage.