Breast cancer is a disease that can lead to fatality. However, it can be fatal only if it has not been treated on time. In recent years, doctors have learned how to manage this pathology. There is a high survival rate of of patients. Many effective methods of breast cancer treatment have been developed over the years: surgeries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy.
Let`s discuss what is most important about breast cancer for women: what to do after the diagnosis was established and what are the chances of curing breast cancer?
Breast cancer - what to do?
Breast cancer does not have to be a sentence. In most cases, the disease is well treatable. In stages 1-2 it can be cured completely. Even in the 3rd stage, doctors manage to prolong the life of patients for many years. There are many stories where women with a late diagnosis of breast cancer lived for decades after receiving quality treatment.
Nowadays in developed countries, even if breast cancer was detected in stage 3, only a quarter of patients die within the first 5 years after diagnosis. However, the majority live much longer.
Do not assume that if you have breast cancer, it's the end of the world. The main thing is to not hesitate and see a doctor. Here's the worst thing you can do:
- Not consult a doctor after detecting breast cancer symptoms. If there is discharge from the nipple, the mammary gland has deformed or there are ulcerations, it is obvious that you need to go to the doctor as soon as possible. However, some women "hide their heads in the sand." They do not consult the doctor in fear of hearing bad news from him/her. This only causes the disease to progress. As a result, breast cancer is found at a later stage, and the effectiveness of its treatment is reduced.
- To use folk methods as treatment for breast cancer. Some women have been misguided by unreliable sources and start to use herbs for treatment or go to alternative healers. This can last for years. Naturally, the "treatment" does not work. The disease keeps developing, it gives metastases, and in the future it will be impossible to cure it completely.
If you want to say after several years: "I defeated the breast cancer," you need to start treatment today and not hide from the main medical problems. If your country has a low level of medical care and development, you can go abroad, for example, to Germany. This country provides quality treatment even in advanced forms of cancer. Of course, it would be bit unrealistic to believe that breast cancer of stage 4 is curable. It would be impossible to treat the disease completely at this point. However, it is very possible to prolong life by 3-5 years by taking medications and radiotherapy courses.
Breast cancer in celebrities
Breast cancer is the most common oncological disease in women. Even public figures and celebrities have suffered from this ailing disease.
Sheryl Crow. This famous singer was struck with breast cancer in 2006. At the time she was 44 years old. She underwent surgery. The pathology was discovered at an early stage, therefore it was not necessary to remove the breast completely. After surgical treatment and the course of radiotherapy, the singer was able to defeat the cancer and return to the music scene.
Darya Dontsova. A well-known writer Daria Dontsova also suffered from breast cancer in 1998. She had several surgeries and received a course of chemotherapy. During the treatment, the book "The Wife of My Husband" was written. Since then, more than 20 years have passed. The disease did not recur. Daria Dontsova takes an active part in various programs and breast cancer awareness campaings.
Angelina Jolie. The Mr and Mrs Smith star courageously decided to prevent breast cancer not waiting for its development. She found out that she had a mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which indicates an increased risk of some cancers. Later on, Angelina Jolie removed her ovaries as well. By undergoing breast cancer prevention, the actress thus set an example for many women who began to get tested for gene mutations. Following her example, a well-known singer Anastasia has also removed her breast.
Is breast cancer treatable?
Breast cancer is curable. Especially in the early stages. Medical clinics of developed countries (Germany, USA) have achieved much more success in the treatment for breast cancer. Europe has a better survival rates than developing countries.
Whether the cancer of the breast can be cured depends primarily on the stage when the disease was found. To estimate the prognosis, such an indicator as the relative five-year survival rate is used. These statistics show the chances of curing breast cancer. However, statistics do not take into account death from other causes. For example, if it is indicated that the patients' survival rate is 100%, it means that none of the patients died from breast cancer specifically. However, during this time death could be caused by other conditions that are not taken into account by statistics.
Below is the breast cancer prognosis for different stages. Relative five-year survival of breast cancer by stages (statistics of developed countries) is:
- 1st stage - 100%
- Stage 2 - 93%
- Stage 3 - 72%
- Stage 4 - 22%
However, from these figures it is impossible to understand how many patients live with breast cancer later on. This is only an approximate idea of the danger of the disease compared to other types of cancer and of the success achieved in breast cancer treatment in recent years. Moreover, today the chances for recovery from breast cancer are even higher than indicated by these data. After all, statistics take into account people who were treated from 2007 to 2013. More than 10 years have passed since the beginning of treatment in 2007. During this period, new, and more effective methods of therapy have appeared. Surely people who are just starting treatment this year will have significantly better survival rates 5 years later.
Patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer in its initial stages are usually interested in whether it is possible to cure breast cancer completely. However, the latter diagnosis do not give a chance of a full recovery. In advanced forms of the disease, patients are more interested in how long they have to live with breast cancer of the 4th stage. Moreover, they want to get exact figures, such as how many years they have left: for example, 1 year and 3 months.
Naturally, no one will be able to give such accurate prognosis for breast cancer. Figures of five-year survival rates based on stages are too general. Prognosis depends on many factors. For example, sub-stages are not taken into account here. Even prognosis for breast cancer of the 2nd degree can have a different.
Obviously, patients with stage 2A live longer than patients with stage 2B. In addition, in breast cancer of the 2nd stage, the prognosis depends on:
- Molecular type of cancer (determines the rate of tumor growth and response to treatment)
- Age of the patient (determines the reactivity of the body, its ability to fight with cancer)
- Location of the tumor (it largely influences when and where the tumor will metastasize)
- Residence of the patient (determines the quality of care)
How many people live with breast cancer is an individual question. A doctor can make a prognosis. He/she can even name the chances of surviving breast cancer in percentiles. However, for most patients the reality will be different. Life expectancy at the 4th stage can be 1 year or 7-8 years. Survival in breast cancer highly depends on the quality of treatment. Here are the statistics of global survival rates. This is averaged data for all stages.
Patients who receive treatment have the following survival rates:
- Five-year - 89%
- 10 years - 82%
- 15 years - 77%
As we can see, most women manage to cure breast cancer completely. If there is no recurrence after 15 years, it is obvious that the breast cancer will not recur ever again. However, in the natural course of the disease, if the patient does not receive breast cancer treatment, the chances of surviving breast cancer are zero. The five-year survival rate is only 15%.
Breast implantation after cancer
For a woman, breast cancer is not only a threat to life. A radical mastectomy is often performed in the course of this disease when the mammary gland is completely removed. After breast cancer surgery, rehabilitation lasts quite a long time. It changes the appearance of women. A woman does not have one breast, which causes psychological complexes and emotional suffering.
Developed countries are increasingly using surgeries, where the breast is not completely removed, but only partially. However, this is possible only in the early stages of the disease, when own tissues provide breast reconstruction after breast cancer treatment. In recent years, oncoplastic surgery has begun to be used. During one surgical intervention the doctor performs manipulations aimed not only at removing the tumor, but also at giving the mammary glands the same shape and size. This prevents further surgeries. If the mammary gland has been removed completely, women can use breast implants. Own tissues of the patient can be used as a substitute to breast implants. The doctor takes the fat tissue from the belly of the woman and forms a breast from them. Sometimes implants are applied additonally, if it is necessary to restore the breast after cancer in such a way that it has a large size.
Organization of Treatment in Germany
In breast cancer, the chances of recovery largely depend on the quality of treatment. Therefore, celebrities and people with high or average income prefer to be treated in clinics of developed countries. More and more people go to Germany to receive high quality medical care.
Booking Health organizes such medical trips. You can contact us to get help during all stages of the organization of treatment in Germany.
We will help:
- Choose a clinic
- Collect and translate documents
- Apply for a visa
- Book flights to Germany
- Transport you to the clinic from the airport
We have direct contracts with major German medical institutions, so you can start treatment faster and save up to 70% of its price. The initial cost of medical care is guaranteed not to change, even if further complications develop and the need for additional medical procedures arises. All unforeseen expenses will be covered by medical insurance which will cover costs of up to 200 thousand euros during treatment and for 4 years after its end.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova
Many treatments program are already bookable on bookinghealth.com