Thanks to recent advances in medicine, survival rates of people affected by cancer have grown up dramatically. Today, most women who diagnosed the disease on the first or second stages manage to outreach predicted lifespan of five or even ten years. What are your chances, if you have such a diagnosis? Here is what German doctors think and recommend.
A number of years left depends on a person: stage of disease he or she has, lifestyle and habits, family history of cancer, peculiarities of tumor and malignant cells. Generally, doctors take a 5-year lifespan into account, and calculate how many people out of 100 manage to live up to five years - a certain percent is given. Besides, there is also a decade survival rate.
In fact, almost 100% of patients at the first stage of disease manage to outlive 5 years. This time is enough to diagnose a disease properly and start treatment, correcting it eventually. If the tumor is not very aggressive, people manage to overcome cancer forever.
General prognosis for all patients is positive: vast majority manage to overcome the malaise and never experience its recurrence. But treatment should be rendered without delay to ensure its effectiveness and decrease side effects.
Stage 2 is also called early, because patients manage to overcome disease in most cases. Survival rate is usually 86-96%, and about 60-80% people manage to live even more than 10 years. In this case, combination of treatment methods (chemo, radiation and operation) is required.
Hormone sensitive cancer requires hormonal therapy (Herpecin intake). Chemotherapy is recommended to be performed prior to surgery, not after as it is usually performed - this is a new approach that allows shrinking a tumor, making operation safer and saving more breast tissue.
At this stage, tumor develops outside breasts, affecting lymph nodes and muscles. This kind of cancer is far more difficult to recover from, and survival rate decreases to 50-60%. This kind of breast cancer is usually treated intensively, and serious operations are required. Most likely, a patient has to be treated with:
- operation (mastectomy, or partial removal of breast tissue);
- radiation therapy;
- intake of hormones;
- series of additional procedures.
Although this is a progressive type of cancer, it can be cured in some cases. Do not give up, if you face it – proper treatment and positive approach will take their toll.
This is the last stage of disease. Tumor grows into other organs, for instance, lungs, brain, muscles or bones. Today, prognosis for advanced cancer cannot be called very positive, but there is a lot to be done about symptoms (pain, discomfort, fatigue). Survival rate in this case ranges from 15% to 22%.
This is a cancer type characterized by too many receptors of cancer cells. Due to that, they divide and grow too quickly, which makes triple negative cancer a very aggressive disease. It spreads outside breast and is quite likely to reoccur within 3 years after treatment. Survival rates in this case are lower than usually: a study organized in 2007 shown that 77% of patients having triple negative cancer survived within five years, while in other cancer cases more than 90% of patients survived. Grade of cells and stage of disease define woman’s personal prognosis.
The prognosis and possible outcomes may be different. Although this is one of the most dangerous cancer types, there is a chance to be treated normally and recover fully. Many aspects can affect prognosis of a patient, and these include:
- stage of disease;
- type and location of tumors;
- patient’s overall health;
- how disease responds to treatment.
As far as inflammatory breast cancer spreads and develops very quickly in different body parts, women with it have shorter lives. However, everything depends on personal situation (peculiarities of tumor and medical history).
Today, doctors still try to understand the nature of this cancer type, and studies are being performed to work out more effective treatment methods. A woman diagnosed with the disease can discuss with a doctor participation in clinical trials, if she wants to – this is a real chance to cure the disease with alternative methods.
Breast cancer is a serious disease, but you should not regard it as a death sentence. In some cases, well-timed diagnosis and proper treatment allow recovering fully and avoiding recurrence during the next years. It is highly important to hope and do your best to get rid of the malaise. Don’t be afraid of the future, and let your friends and family support you while going through therapies.