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What is the survival rate for breast cancer?

5 answers | Last updated: Nov 28, 2013
marlinenola asked...
In January 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB inflammatory breast cancer I was six months from my 56th birthday and post-menopausal at that time. I had chemo before my mastectomy, had a total mastectomy and then chemo after the surgery. After that I was given approximately 40 radiation treatments. Can you tell me what might be my approximate survival rate for breast cancer?
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Swade answered...

I my not understand how this question and answer segment works, but I don't she any real answer to this woman's question, what a disservice to her.

IN 2020, age 52, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory breast cancer IIIb, and IDC stage 2, with a tumor size 4 c. I was not given a life expectancy only encouragement to fight and continue treatments. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I am a professional writer and researcher and former administrative social worker. My past work experience led me to research Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). My oncologist encouraged me to do my research but emphasized for me not to look at the numbers (the statistics), She said just read the information about the disease and get informed. It was by far the best advice I've ever received.

If I had gotten stuck on the statistic of survival I would have been doomed, really doomed to give up. I'm glad I didn't. Here I am 8 years later, still alive, and appreciating life more than ever. However, I wont tell you it wasn't hard, It was. In addition to the treatment of chemotherapy (on-and-off for all these 8 years), radical, down to the bone, surgery, and so much radiation I am burnt to a crisp. My skin is too damaged with not enough health tissue for reconstruction.

Even with all this, I suffered from a chemical spill. What happened is I had just finished the 1st round of A/C, and on my 1st treatment of taxotere. I had a port but the needle used was too small3/4" instead of a 1" and the needle came out of the port but remained under my skin and the chemo and other drugs spilled into my right chest (where the pump was located). It was a pain that defies description. It took a 1 1/2 months for my skin to heal enough to wear clothes. Then then radiation treatments were so extensive it was very difficult to bear. But I did bear it, and I'm here. And I'm glad I'm here.

I go onto the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. web site and I try to find other women with IBC who have gone through what I have. In many ways it is very encouraging and in other ways not. One thing I can say is that every person is different regardless of the type of cancer, and there are many, many success stories today that didn't exist just a few years ago. Medical technology is growing by leaps and bounds and new treatments coming down the pike on a regular basis. My personal opinion is that I'm glad I listened to my oncologist, Dr. Elizabeth McKeen. She is famous for her work here in South Florida at the Palm Beach Cancer Institute. Make sure you have confidence in your oncologist, if you don't get a second, third, or forth opinion until you find a doctor who you believe has the knowledge necessary to treat your rare and unique disease and a doctor who really cares about you. I know and very confident that I would not be alive today if I didn't have Dr. Elizabeth McKeen as my doctor. Not only do her patients love her, a magazine published a listing of the Best Doctors in South Florida. Dr. McKeen was voted by her peers (other doctors) as the best oncologist in South Florida. Of course as one of her patients, I already knew that.

This being said, it is important to know that every patient's case is different. There have been other patients do better or worse in terms of results. No one knows exactly why, it just is.

Research, universally, indicates that there are a multitude of variables that seem to make a difference is the speed and results of survival, these include: how early a the disease is found (an early diagnosis); the knowledge and expertise of the Oncologist;" the attitude of the patient (optimistic, spiritual life, emotional status; physical condition; general lifestyle; exposure to environmental toxic chemicals (pesticides, known carcinogens etc...); and along with the patients attitude and determination to fight. As for me, as a actively living and committed christian, I know that I am not alone. I believe that God is still in the healing business and if God wants me healed, he will heal me, and if he wants me home there is nothing on this earth that can keep me. The moment the surgeon told me I had cancer, all I said, "What do we do next?" I walked out, met my friends and told them I had breast cancer. Each started crying. I asked them not to cry for me, but to stand with me in agreement to be positive in attitude and to keep me in their prayers. I believe that the power of prayer is the most powerful gift that God has given to all of us. It is amazing what prayer, and positive thought's can do. I encourage everyone, regardless of your belief system, or lack of one altogether, to read as much as you can on the power of positive thinking and prayer.

Dr. Larry Dossey, MD, Internist, quit his private practice to research and write books on the healing power of words. I don't remember how to spell her name but a biologist , Dr. Joan Borinski(I think?)worked in a lab to test the concept of the power of words. They tested this concept with bacteria, yes, you heard me right, bacteria. She placed a bacteria in two separate petri (glass lab) dishes. Dish "A" was yelled at, called bad names, threatened with being killed ect... Dish "B" was spoken to in a soft loving, caring voice and told how beautiful it was etc... The results were astonishing. In this clinical double blind, controlled lab bacteria in dish "A" died without ever being touched. Bacteria in Dish "B" not only lived but thrived. Please don't take my word for it look it up for yourself. I didn't believe it either when I first heard about the test.

It didn't take a clinical lab test for me to believe in the positive power of words or in attitude or the power of belief in God. My life is testimony to the fact that these statement are more true than anything else on earth. To discuss that would take a book.

I offer my words of encouragement to Marinenola and anyone out there who may be in need of hearing a word of encouragement. Plus, I have done a ton of research on cancer , IBC, nutrition and feel as a now"Cancer Patient Advocate" will try to help direct you to proven and reliable resources.

Believe that life is worth fighting for, especially your life. God only knows how your life may bring to the life of others.

Sandy Wade North Palm Beach, Florida 33410

 

100% helpful
Donna Schnepp answered...

I was diagnosed in November of 2005 with breast cancer. tumor size was 4cm, they said it was called her2new. I decided to ahave a bilater mastectomy. I didn't want to go thru it again. By the grace of god i survied the poison they put in you to kill the cancer. I was very sick ,bald,and boobless. But i had a very good support system at home from family and friends. I would fuss and cuss everytime it was tome to take another round of chemo.I would say death is to easy.I swore i wasn't taking anymore. My family pacifed me, until time to go again. But I fought hard and long to get rid of this disease in me. Thanks to my family and freinds , I can say I am a survior. If you have to face this disease, don't give up just hold on to your family and freinds and most important God. You will make it thru.

 

100% helpful
manita answered...

Once again being positive and fighting is the most important thing!You must remember that you are not alone. Never give up! And like I said before learn about what you have and work with it and not against it! May God bless you!

 

hollie12 answered...

my mother had breast cancer in 2005 and they did a lumpectomy on her left breast & removed over 20 lymphnodes on that side. she did her mamogram every year since & she just found another lump this year. after much testing, mamogram which found a lump & a soft mass, they did an ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, bone scan. they now are saying it has spread into the remaining breast tissue, lymph nodes and her shoulder blade also her pelvis, and liver. can anyone help me understand so that i can be more supportive for her? i live over 500 miles from her. my mother just celebrated her 80th birthday this July. she says she was in great Health, looks a little tired, but isn't really in any pain. one doctor says she is in stage 3 maybe stage 4 of this what does this mean i don't understand?

 

 
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