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Overall Survival Rate

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of breast cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall 5-year relative breast cancer survival rate for 1995-2002 was 88.5 percent. The 5-year relative breast cancer survival rates by race were:
  • 89.7 percent for white women
  • 77.3 percent for black women.

Breast Cancer Survival Rate Based on Stage

The breast cancer stage plays a role in the survival rate. Based on historical data:
  • 61 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized stage).
  • 31 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes or directly beyond the primary site.
  • 6 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized (distant stage).
  • 2 percent of breast cancer cases had staging information that was unknown.
The corresponding 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer were:
  • 98.1 percent for localized
  • 83.1 percent for regional
  • 26.0 percent for distant
  • 54.1 percent for unstaged.
(Click Breast Cancer Statistics for more statistics on breast cancer.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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