Inflammatory Breast Cancer

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Survival rates for inflammatory breast cancer

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients with cancer might want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide you don’t want to know, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

Median survival is the length of time for half of the patients in a group to have died. By definition, half of the patients in that group are still alive. It is important to remember that the median is just a kind of average used by researchers. No one is "average" and many people have much better outcomes than the median. Also, people with inflammatory breast cancer can die of other things, and these numbers don’t take that into account.

These survival rates are based on people diagnosed years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer.

Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen in any particular person's case. Many other factors can affect a person's outlook, such as age, general health, treatment received, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is considered an aggressive cancer because it grows quickly, is more likely to have spread at the time it is found, and is more likely to come back after treatment than most other types of breast cancer. The prognosis (outlook) is generally not as good as it is for most other types of breast cancer.

These numbers are based on data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, for patients who were diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer between 1990 and 2008.


    Median Survival

    Stage III

    57 months

    Stage IV

    21 months

Last Medical Review: 08/28/2014
Last Revised: 06/10/2015