Breast Cancer : Stage Identification

Breast cancer is normally identified by stages, based on criteria established by the reporting agency. The American Joint Committee on Cancer uses Stage I through Stage IV to describe the advanced nature of breast cancer to understand the cancer survival rate, with Stage I being early and Stage IV being advanced. The SEER Summary Stage system uses Local, Regional and Distant stages to describe how far the cancer has spread.


Cancer Survival Statistics

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at its earliest stages have a higher survival rate than those who are diagnosed at later or more advanced stages of the disease. The earlier stage patients or Stage I patients have a 93 percent rate of surviving for at least five years, according to the American Cancer Society.

The breast cancer survival rate drops to 81 percent once the disease has progressed to Stage II. If the breast cancer was at Stage III when it was discovered, the survival rate drops to 67 percent. Women with Stage IV breast cancer have a 15 percent survival rate. The American Cancer Society notes that every woman’s situation is different and that new treatments are continuing to improve survival rates among women with breast cancer.