Breast Cancer Survival Rates by Stage

cancer stages

There are approximately 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today.

Survival rates for breast cancer are based on the stage the breast cancer has reached at the time of diagnosis, and are referred to as “5-year survival rates,” meaning they describe the percentage of women who live at least five years following a breast cancer diagnosis at that particular stage.

According to the American Cancer Society, the following are the 5-year survival rates for breast cancer:

Stage 0 Breast Cancer: 93 percent

Non-invasive forms of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), are typically classified as Stage 0 breast cancer.

Stage I Breast Cancer: 88 percent

Breast cancer that has been diagnosed as Stage 1 means it is still small in size (approximately 2 centimeters or less) and is isolated in the breast.

Stage IIA Breast Cancer: 81 percent

Stage IIA breast cancer can include one of three designations: 1) While no tumor is found in the breast, the cancer is found in the lymph nodes under the arm, 2) The tumor in the breast is smaller than 2 centimeters and has spread to lymph nodes under the arm, or 3) The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but is not yet 5 centimeters and has not yet spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.

Stage IIB Breast Cancer: 74 percent

In this second subset of Stage II cancer, the tumor in the breast is larger than 2 centimeters but is not yet 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, or the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IIIA Breast Cancer: 67 percent

Stage IIIA breast cancer can include one of four designations: 1) While no tumor is found in the breast, cancer is seen in the lymph nodes under the arm and may be attached to other nearby structures such as the breastbone, 2) The tumor is less than 2 centimeters in size, but has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm that are attached to one another or may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone 3) The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters in size and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm that are attached to one another or may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone, or 4) The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm that are attached to each other or may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage IIIB Breast Cancer: 41 percent

In the second subset of Stage II breast cancer, the tumor may be any size, but has spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast, or it may have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm that are attached to one another or may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage IIIC Breast Cancer: 49 percent

In this third subset of Stage III breast cancer, the cancer has spread to lymph nodes above and below the collarbone or may have spread to lymph nodes under the arm or to lymph nodes near the breastbone. Additionally, the tumor may be any size in the breast and may have already spread to the chest wall or the skin of the breast.

Stage IV Breast Cancer: 15 percent

In Stage IV breast cancer, the cancer has spread to other organs. The most common organs that breast cancer spreads to includes the brain, bones, lungs or liver, or a combination of any of these.


 
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