Before talking about breast cancer prognosis, we have to state that it is a second most lethal cancer in case of women, the first being lung cancer.
Nonetheless if it is diagnosed on time and if new treatment is used, the outlook of the patients is relatively optimistic.
Factors influencing the prognosis of breast cancer
There are some factors that influence the rate of survival and the risk of recurrence in case of breast cancer, not to mention the probable success of the treatment.
These factors include the location of the cancer and how much it spreads, the markers of tumor, the shape and size of tumor, gene expression, cell division and whether the cancer is hormone receptor negative or positive.
When it comes to prognosis of breast cancer the good news is that due to modern technology, women with this condition can live longer and even more, the mortality rate decreased by 25% since 1990.
Nonetheless there is always the possibility that the survivors will be faced with a recurrence of the condition and there is also chance of having complications.
The truth about breast cancer prognosis is that the recurrence rate in the first 5 years is the highest, later it drops to about 25%.
Location of the cancer
This is one of the most important factors that need to be taken into consideration. If we are referring to ductal carcinoma in situ, that is also known as DCIS that didn’t manage to spread, the rate of survival is of about 98%.
In case the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes as well, the prognosis of breast cancer isn’t that optimistic, in this case the survival rate in the first 5 years is of 84%. If the cancer has spread to other organs as well, such as the lung, bone or liver, the survival rate in the first 5 years drops to 27%. Nonetheless due to the new medications, the outlook of women is a lot more optimistic.
Hormone receptor negative or positive
You might know that breast cancer comes with receptors regarding progesterone and estrogen and these also influence the breast cancer prognosis. These are the hormone receptor cells.
In case these cells don’t have connectors, they are known as hormone receptor negative ones. Nonetheless about 75% of the tumors are hormone receptor positive regarding estrogen and 65% regarding progesterone.
In case it is positive, it means that it reacts to hormones, and so the prognosis of breast cancer changes because the condition can be treated with hormone therapy. The women who are hormone receptor positive have a better breast cancer prognosis because the doctors can control the growth of the tumor and they also have more options regarding the treatment method.
In the recent years, the prognosis of breast cancer has improved significantly among the women who are hormone receptor positive because of the hormone drug therapy that is used after surgery.
As you can see there is a lot to know regarding breast cancer prognosis.