Breast Cancer Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for breast cancer

Some people with cancer may want to know the survival rates for their type of cancer. Others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. Whether or not you want to read about survival rates is up to you. If you decide that you do not want to read about them, skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is found. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years. A relative survival rate compares the survival of people with the cancer to that of people without the cancer. This helps correct for deaths from things other than the cancer.

These numbers are based on women treated a number of years ago. Because we now find more cancers early and use newer, better treatments, the survival rates are getting better all the time.

    Stage

    5-year Relative
    Survival Rate

 

    0

    100%

    I

    100%

    II

    93%

    III

    72%

    IV

    22%

While these numbers provide an overall picture, keep in mind that every woman is different and the statistics can't predict exactly what will happen to you. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure or how long you might survive your cancer. They know your situation best.


Last Medical Review: 09/17/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014