Breast Cancer Statistics
A diagnosis–or even a possible diagnosis–of breast cancer can be scary. But the good news is that men and women who vigilantly examine themselves every month and get yearly mammograms usually survive the disease. In fact, there is a 100 percent five-year survival rate for those who are diagnosed and treated during the earliest stages of breast cancer. While the treatments can still be difficult, they are generally easily tolerated and patients can get on with their lives. The more you know about breast cancer statistics, the less you have to worry about the great unknown.
Breast Cancer Survival Statistics
Doctors are so confident that they can treat stage I breast cancer that they give patients a 100 percent five-year survival rate. Even in cases with a slightly more advanced stage of the disease, there are reasons to be extremely optimistic. For instance, those with stage IIA have a 92 percent chance of surviving the disease for at least five years, and even those with stage IIIB breast cancer have a 54 percent survival rate. That’s a better than one in two chance of survival, and a betting person would tell you to take those odds! All things considered, regardless of the odds, The Breast Cancer Society will always bet in favor of survival. With hope, wonderful miracles can and do occur every day with cancer patients.
Common Breast Cancer Statistics
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for women. Every woman has a 12 percent chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. In fact, of all the women you know, 1 in 8 will contract some form of breast cancer in her lifetime. While these are scary statistics, it’s important to realize that very few people actually die from the disease. The bottom line is, only about 3 percent of women die from breast cancer. The odds–1 in 35–are definitely in the patient’s favor.
Improvements in Breast Cancer Statistics
Another reason for women to have hope is that incidence rates of the disease (in the U.S.) have actually been decreasing for the last decade. From 1999 to 2005, the incidence rate dropped by 2.2 percent, a large number for a disease that affects 12 percent of all women. Likewise, instances of death from breast cancer have been dropping for more than a decade, especially in women under 50. As medical technology continues to improve and women learn more about how they can reduce their risks of developing the disease, these statistics will continue to improve.
Understanding Breast Cancer Statistics
It is important for women and their families to understand that, while breast cancer is a very serious disease, it is not a death sentence. Staying alert, getting regular exams and immediately addressing any early warning signs are the best ways to detect possible cancerous cells while they are still easy to treat.