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Breast Cancer Life Expectancy: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Jul 09, 2022

Breast Cancer Life Expectancy: What You Need to Know

Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast start to grow uncontrollably. Once this happens, there are different types of breast cancer a woman (and in rare cases, a man) may experience. The type of breast cancer would depend on what part of the breast has been affected. After a breast cancer diagnosis, one of the most common questions is: Ano ang life expectancy ng may breast cancer?

Those who are diagnosed with breast cancer may start to wonder about their life expectancy, since it is common for people to think that cancer is associated with a shortened lifespan. 

Ano ang Life Expectancy ng may Breast Cancer?

There is no other way to determine kung ano ang life expectancy ng may breast cancer. Survival rates are merely statistics of previous results from people who were diagnosed with a specific type of cancer, in this case, breast cancer. 

Keeping that in mind, that would mean that survival rates cannot and should not be a basis of one’s estimated life expectancy. It simply does not add up, because first of all, the outlook of breast cancer differs from one person to another. 

The most certain way in which people can get legitimate answers in regards to their life expectancy would be to consult with their doctor. 

Doctors will then determine a prognosis or make an educated estimation on what the outcome of a disease would be on a person, the recurrence of said disease, and eventually, life expectancy.

A doctor would require certain information from a person with breast cancer and these would include: 

  • The type of breast cancer
  • Stage of the cancer (where the cancer is located and what size it is)
  • Grade of the cancer (how fast the cancer is moving)
  • More details on the cancer cells (DNA, hormone receptors, gene expression test results)
  • Age and health in general 
  • The response of cancer to treatment 
  • Relative Survival Rates: Life Expectancy ng may Breast Cancer 

    The survival rate of women with breast cancer is about five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. However, some women survive for 10 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer while others live on for up to 15 more years. Early detection, age, overall health, and how responsive the cancer is to treatment are all factors that can affect survival rate. 

    This data is based on statistics from the SEER database. The SEER database is basically where all cancer-related survival statistics come from. 

    SEER keeps track of relative survival rates that range from 5 years to 10 years and 20 years. The most common statistics they keep track of would be the 5-year relative survival rate. 

    The stage of the cancer generally corresponds to the following 5-year survival rates: 

    • Localized Stage: 99% 
    • Regional Stage: 86% 
    • Distant Stage: 28% 

    These statistics are based on data from women who were diagnosed with breast cancer during the years 2010 and 2016. 

    These statistics have been gathered five years prior, so the statistics today would differ. It is likely possible that the data now has improved since diagnosis and treatments have also gotten better over time. 

    In addition, the data shown above is different from the survival rates of women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer. 

    Survival Rates of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer 

    This type of breast cancer is aggressive because it spreads and moves quickly inside the body. Moreover, triple-negative breast cancer has the tendency of recurrence. So despite having treatments, there is a big possibility for the cancer to come back compared to other types of breast cancer. 

    5-year survival rate for triple-negative breast cancer: 

  • Localized Stage: 91%
  • Regional Stage: 65% 
  • Distant Stage: 12%
  • Survival Rates of Inflammatory Breast Cancer 

    This type of breast cancer is rare and only occurs in 1-5% out of all breast cancers. Inflammatory breast cancer differs from other breast cancers due to the following:

    • People who are diagnosed with this do not have any lumps in their breasts. 
    • This occurs in younger women (younger than people in their 40s)
    • This mostly occurs in women who are obese. 
    • It is an aggressive type of cancer and moves quickly compared to other breast cancer types. 
    • It is always diagnosed in an advanced stage, meaning, when people get diagnosed for the first time, the cancer would already have grown to stage III) 
    • 1 out of 3 cases the cancer would reach different parts of the body, making the cancer more difficult to treat. 
    • Prognosis results are worse compared to others. 

    5-year survival rate for inflammatory breast cancer: 

    • Regional Stage: 56%
    • Distant Stage: 19%

    Key Takeaways

    Finding out the exact life expectancy for women who have breast cancer would be challenging to pinpoint, even for medical professionals.

    However, by working with a patient and taking survival rates into account, doctors can give more clarity and support for people who are curious to know how many survive after being diagnosed. 

    Learn more about cancer treatment and management, here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    John Paul Abrina, MD

    Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

    Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Jul 09, 2022

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