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Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., accounting for 32 percent of all female cancers. Breast cancer is responsible for 18 percent of cancer deaths in women and is second only to lung cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. In 2001, an estimated 192,200 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,600 women died from the disease.

Despite the fact that 40,000 people are expected to die of the disease in 2002, the mortality rates actually declined during 1992-1997 with the largest decreases in younger women--both white and black. This decline is due to earlier detection through screening mammography and improvements in chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Survival rates for patients with non-metastatic breast cancer (all stages) have improved in recent years. The 5-year relative survival rate for localized breast cancer has increased from 72 percent in the 1940s to 96 percent today. However, if the cancer has spread regionally, the rate is 77 percent and for patients with distant metastasis, the rate is 21 percent. Long term survival after a breast cancer diagnosis continues to decline after five years with 71 percent surviving 10 years and 57 percent surviving 15 years.

More Medical Malpractice Statistics

Risk factors:

In addition to age, other factors may increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. The strongest risk factors are a family history of breast cancer in a mother or sister, having already been diagnosed with breast cancer, or having had a previous breast biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia (an irregular pattern of cell growth).

Stages of Breast Cancer:

Stages of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, indicate the size of a tumor and how far the cancer has spread within the breast, to nearby tissues, and to other organs. Specific treatment is most often determined by the following stages of the disease:

Carcinoma in situ: Cancer is confined to the lobules (milk-producing glands) or ducts (passages connecting milk-producing glands to the nipple) and has not invaded nearby breast tissue.

Stage I: Tumor is smaller than or equal to 2 centimeters in diameter and underarm (axillary) lymph nodes test negative for cancer.

Stage II: Tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters in diameter with or without positive lymph nodes, or tumor is greater than 5 centimeters without positive lymph nodes.

Stage III: This stage is divided into substages known as IIIA and IIIB:

IIIA: Tumor is larger than 5 centimeters with positive movable lymph nodes, or tumor is any size with lymph nodes that adhere to one another or surrounding tissue.

IIIB: Tumor of any size has spread to the skin, chest wall, or internal mammary lymph nodes (located beneath the breast and inside the chest).

Stage IV: Tumor, regardless of size, has metastasized (spread) to distant sites such as bones, lungs, or lymph nodes not near the breast.

If your Doctor has been guilty of misdiagnosis or negligent treatment of your breast cancer symptoms and you have suffered because of it please contact us for a free legal consultation about your legal rights and a confidential case evaluation.

 

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