Friday, August 01, 2014
Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Monday, October 27, 2008 Cristina Smith, Community Member, asks

Q: survival rate for ductal carcinoma

I have just been diagnosed with stage II breast cancer.  It is beng classified as invasive/infiltrating ductal carcinoma.  What is the survival rate for this type of breast cancer?  I am also 15 weeks pregnant.

Answer This
Answers (4)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/27/08 7:20pm

Hi Cristina - First, congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope it goes well for you. It'll be a challenge for sure, but many, many women successfully complete pregnancy while being treated for breast cancer, and give birth to healthy babies.

 

Second, if you haven't yet read our FAQS on IDC, that's a good place to start.

 

And third, statistically speaking (and it's JUST statistics - everyone has their own experience), if the IDC has spread to the lymph nodes, 5-year survival rate is about 85%; if it hasn't spread to the lymph nodes, it's about 98%.

 

Best of luck to you - and stay in touch here. We can help - PJH

Reply
IDC, Community Member
1/23/11 8:21pm

Hi, Christina

I saw what you wrote to the lady about her IDC. I was diagnois on Nov 1, 2010 and had 6 lypth nodes taken out and only one had cancer which was 0.8 mm which was small. The rest they had NO Cancer in them. I am having 8 treatments of chemo. I been wanting to know what the survival rate is for me.? I have asked the doctors and they say 85% but what you had wrote I am just wondering if I would be in the 98% rate?

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/23/11 9:36pm

Statistically speaking, if you have spread to even one node (which you do), then you're in the 85% or so range... But those are just statistics. Averages. Every woman is different, and there's NO predicting what your outcome will be for sure. My advice? Belive you're going to survive - and thrive. PJH

Reply
Dream, Community Member
1/24/11 7:25pm

Hi I read what you were saying about survival rates for IDC. I was diagnosed with IDC in July 2010 I took 4 tratments of chemo and had surgery. They took out two sentinal nodes and two node underneath those. Of the four removed only one had a minute microscopic metatisis and the lump was completely gone. I then took two more doses of chemo. Now they want me to do radiation but I was told that with radiation I would have a less than 10 % chance of recurrance and without about 35%. They would also do the lymph nodes. I was also told this would not stop it from spreading but only decrease the risk of recurrance in the breast and lymph node. They will watch me very closely I was told so what I am asking is why should I do the radiation? If it comes back they would not be able to do radiation again only surgery. I know I had a little in my one lymph (minute microscopic amount) but the lump was gone. What are my odds if I don't take radiation? Wouldn't it be better if I waited and if something showed up they could use radiation then instead of now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reply
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
1/24/11 7:56pm

Dream, we are not doctors here, and any statistics we quote are for large, general groups.  Your doctor considers features of your tumor like its ER status, your age, and your entire medical history when making estimates of your recurrence chances.  Keep in mind that these are always estimates.  No one can guarantee that any treatment will keep the cancer from spreading.  I'm guessing that is what the doctor meant when you were told that the radiation would not stop the cancer from spreading.  Radiation kills cancer cells in the chest wall and any radiated lymph nodes.  It does not kill any cells that have already traveled to a distant organ.  The doctor hopes that the chemo got those cells.

If I understand correctly, your doctor says that with radiation you have a 90% chance of staying well.  Without radiation, you have a 65% chance of staying well.  I personally would go with radiation if it made that big a chance in avoiding recurrence.  

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/24/11 11:18pm

Dream, I'd also ask again about the absolute risk of recurrence, with and without radiation. I've never heard of radiaiton making THAT signficant a difference. You might have been given quotes for relative risk... Find out for sure what your risk of recurrence is without radiation. Then find out what it is with radiation. You don't want to hear "your reisk is reduced by 35% if you do radiation..." because what that means is your probability of remaining cancer-free goes from 90% to something like 93% - not a huge difference. I know, confusing! But worth trying to figure out. PJH

Reply
Dream, Community Member
1/26/11 1:13am

Basically I was told that there are women with large tumors and definite nodal invasion who absolutely need radiaton, there are women who have a tomor with no nodal invasion who can do with out radiation and then there is me. Tumor disappeared and only a tiny spec found in one node. I fall in between I was told so they guess at what I should do. That's right she actually said they guess. I know they can't tell me one hundred percent what will happen. They can onlysay what could happen. She even said they actually did a trial where they handpicked women they thought could skip radiation and not have a recurrence. They had to stop the trial because they were wrong. They still don't know enough to say anything for certain. Did you know that the treatment can even cause cancer later on 5, 10, 15, even twenty years later. It can even damage your heart or lungs. Sounds to me like I would be risking more than recurrence. The percentage she said was without radiation I have a 35% chance of recurrence and with radiation I would have less than 10% chance of recurrence. I am trying to look at this positively. Without it I have a 65% chance that it wont come back and with it I have more than 90% chance of it not coming back. Thats more than 25% difference.

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/26/11 5:19am

Dream, sounds like that difference in recurrence risk is high enough that you should strongly consider radiation. And, it sounds to me like you might be referencing old information; radiation is SO much safer than it used to be, when the possible long-term effects were much more common. Now, it's so finely focused that future cancers, and/or cardiac issues, are just a slight possibility, compared to in the past. If you're very worried, you might ask the radiation oncologist for current statistics regarding long-term effects; that should help set your mind at ease.

 

Also - I think your doctors are being refreshingly honest when they say all they can do is guess. Sure, it's an educated guess; but all cancer treatment, at the end of the day, is a hope, a wish... and a guess. Good luck - PJH

Reply
Dream, Community Member
1/26/11 2:01pm

Yes they have been totally honest. Which really is great I just hate the gaps. You know all the questions you should be asking but you don't know the questions. I am sick of cancer interferring in my life.

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/26/11 2:46pm

Dream, it's natural you'd be feeling discouraged; cancer does a number on you. Gradually, you get used to the fact that you have cancer; that you're a cancer survivor. The word ceases to have the ability to strike terror in your heart, or anger... it just is what it is, and you carry on.

 

It's OK to feel how you feel; but understand it's "only" feelings. Validate them, then try to let go and move on. This is going to be a long, sometimes bumpy ride; best try to get used to it, and go with the flow, OK? PJH

Reply
tammy, Community Member
6/18/09 3:02pm

i have stage ll breast cancer classified as invasive ductal carcinoma what is the survival rate?

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/18/09 5:44pm

Hi - Please read our IDC FAQS for some helpful information on your diagnosis. As for survival rate, it depends on a huge variety of factors, including what treatment you choose, the stage of the cancer, whether it's hormone-receptive, and whether it's spread to your lymph nodes, among others. So please ask your doctor; he/she will be able to discuss this with you fully. Good luck, and stay in touch here - we can help. PJH

Reply
kimi, Community Member
9/30/10 11:21am

Christina! CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BABY!! I have Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma at Stage IIIB with a 40% chance of survival.......had a mascectomy, chemo and radiation and I am here to complain about it!! Yell  YOU WILL SURVIVE AND BE BETTER FOR IT!!! MENTAL ATTITUDE IS 90% OF IT................YOU HAVE A NEW BABY AND NEW LIFE TO LIVE FOR!! Do not have any second thoughts that you are a survivor!! No one know why they are "touched" but there's a reason, just know that perhaps your story will encourage others to SURVIVE!! Good luck and can't wait to hear about that babys 1ST bday party!! Be strong!!!

Reply
Kimmi Williams, Community Member
9/30/10 11:22am

Christina! CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BABY!! I have Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma at Stage IIIB with a 40% chance of survival.......had a mascectomy, chemo and radiation and I am here to complain about it!! Yell  YOU WILL SURVIVE AND BE BETTER FOR IT!!! MENTAL ATTITUDE IS 90% OF IT................YOU HAVE A NEW BABY AND NEW LIFE TO LIVE FOR!! Do not have any second thoughts that you are a survivor!! No one know why they are "touched" but there's a reason, just know that perhaps your story will encourage others to SURVIVE!! Good luck and can't wait to hear about that babys 1ST bday party!! Be strong!!!

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Cristina Smith, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/23/14, First Published: 10/27/08