The breast cancer survival rate is a benchmark that is sometimes used to discuss breast cancer outcomes. Patients who are interested in learning about the survival rate should keep in mind that this information is simply an average based on the outcomes of many breast cancer patients with widely different characteristics. While the overall survival rate can be a useful point of reference in certain circumstances, the bottom line is that no single patient can be considered average. Therefore, the survival rate cannot predict what will happen in any one situation.
Survival rates are expressed in terms of years. For example, the 10-year breast cancer survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who survive 10 years or longer after being diagnosed. One key shortcoming of the breast cancer survival rate is that it must be derived from information related to patients who were diagnosed and treated several years ago (i.e., to determine the 10-year survival rate, researchers evaluate the outcomes of patients who were diagnosed and treated at least 10 years ago). As research continues and more is learned about breast cancer, new and better treatments are constantly being developed. This will likely improve the experiences of patients who are being diagnosed and treated today, so their outcomes are projected to be better than those reflected in the currently published survival rates.
"Breast cancer is very diverse and many variables are involved in its treatment. Breast cancer is unique to each patient and the way treatment affects each patient and their outcomes is different."- Aixa Soyano Muller, MD
There are also many lifestyle factors and good health practices that can influence and improve the breast cancer survival rate. Most of those factors are under a patient’s control, such as:
- Eating a variety of nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Refraining from smoking and alcohol
Through our commitment to conducting innovative clinical trials, we can offer our patients the very latest in treatment options. Our overriding goal is to provide comprehensive care and compassionate support to enhance each patient’s quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Aixa Soyano Muller, MD, Breast Oncology Program.
If you have questions about the breast cancer survival rate, you don’t need a referral to consult with the renowned cancer team at Moffitt. Just call 1-888-663-3488 or register to schedule an appointment online .