Breast Cancer

What Is the Prognosis for Breast Cancer?

Most women who are treated for early breast cancer go on to live healthy, active lives. You may have more choices when it comes to treatment if the disease is found early.
Breast cancer treatments have changed over time. Today, many women who are diagnosed with it do not have to lose a breast. Because there are improved ways to treat the disease, it is more important than ever for you to learn all you can. Working with your team of medical specialists, you can play a key role in choosing the treatment that is best for you.
(Click Breast Cancer Prognosis or Breast Cancer Survival Rate for more information.)

Risk Factors for Recurrence of Breast Cancer

Your chance of surviving breast cancer will depend on your chance of the disease returning after treatment is completed. Some women are at a higher risk for the spread or return of breast cancer. In many cases, doctors can't explain why one person stays well and another does not.
Remember, the risk factors for recurrence are complex. They are not absolute predictions of your future health. Some factors that affect the spread or recurrence of the disease are:
  • Tumor size: The smaller your tumor, the lower the risk
  • Lymph nodes: The fewer underarm lymph nodes that have cancer, the lower your risk
  • Cell growth: Cancer cells that grow slowly are linked to a lower risk
  • Hormones: If a tumor depends on hormones for growth, hormonal therapy can lower the risk of the cancer spreading or recurring.
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Information on Breast Cancer

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