Breast Cancer in Men

+ -Text Size

Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Breast cancer in men survival rates, by stage

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients with breast cancer may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations. Others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and 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 diagnosed. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years (and many are cured).

Five-year relative survival rates assume that some people will die of other causes and compare the observed survival with that expected for people without the cancer. This is a more accurate way to describe the impact of a particular type and stage of cancer on survival.

In order to get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for men being diagnosed with breast cancer now.

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 their overall health, what treatment they receive, 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 the aspects of your situation.

The numbers below come from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. These statistics include only male breast cancer cases but are based on an older version of AJCC staging. In that version, some men who are now considered stage IB would be included as stage II.

It is also important to realize that these statistics are based on the stage of the cancer when it was first diagnosed. These do not apply to cancer after it has come back or spread, for example.

Stage

5-year relative
survival rate

0

100%

I

100%

II

91%

III

72%

IV

20%


Last Medical Review: 10/10/2014
Last Revised: 10/10/2014