Staging and Survival Rates

Staging is the process physicians use to assess the siz Breast Cancer Statistics & Survival Rates | General Information on Breast Cancer | Imaginis - The Women's Health & Wellness Resource Network

The Women's Health Resource. On the web since 1997.

Breast Cancer Statistics & Survival Rates

Staging and Survival Rates

Staging is the process physicians use to assess the size and location of a patient's cancer. This information helps determine the most optimal form of treatment. Breast cancer stages range from Stage 0 (very early form of cancer) to Stage IV (advanced, metastatic breast cancer). Click here for a detailed explanation of each stage of breast cancer.

The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is calculated based on averages. Each patient,s individual tumor characteristics, state of health, genetic background, etc. will impact her survival. In addition, levels of stress, immune function, will to live, and other unmeasurable factors also play a significant role in a patient's survival.

Stage 5-year Relative
Survival Rate














Source: American Cancer Society, The numbers come from the National Cancer Data Base, and are based on people who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and 2002.
Breast cancer survival also continues to decline after five years. Survival after ten years depends on the stage; early stage breast cancers are associated with high survival rates than late stages cancers.


Statistics on Mammography

The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection and treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is close to 100%. The early detection of breast cancer helps reduce the need for therapeutic treatment and minimizes pain and suffering, allowing women to continue leading happy, productive lives.

Beginning at the age of 20, every woman should practice monthly breast self-exams and begin a routine program of breast health, including scheduling physician performed clinical breast exams at least every three years. As a woman ages, her risk of breast cancer also increases. About 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50 at the time of diagnosis. Women between the ages of 20 and 29 account for only 0.3% of breast cancer cases. Beginning at the age of 40, all women should have annual screening mammograms, receive clinical breast exams each year, and practice breast self-exams every month.

Percent of American Women Over 40 Who Have Had a Mammogram Within Past 2 Years
Non-Hispanic White
African American
American Indian/Alaska 
Asian American
Source: American Cancer Society, Surveillance Research, 2011. 

Links to Other U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics

Updated: October 2011