Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Stage 1 breast cancer: survival rate, symptoms, treatment, prognosis. The stages are the same for breast cancer as for other cancers. The stage is a measurement of how far cancer has spread. Based on the stage, treatment and prognosis are determined.

Stage 1 breast cancer: survival rate, symptoms, treatment, prognosis
Stage 1 breast cancer: survival rate, symptoms, treatment, prognosis

Breast cancer in stage 1 is confined to the area where the abnormal cell divisions began. Other parts of the breast or body have not been affected. There are several substages of stage 1A and stage 1B. A diagnosis at this early stage can usually lead to highly effective treatment and a good prognosis.

It will help you feel more empowered and at ease, if you know what a stage 1 tumor is, as well as which treatments you have and what your prognosis is. Let’s find out more.

Breast cancer that has developed in the early stages can continue to grow and spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Early detection and treatment of cancer can prevent the disease from progressing and, in many cases, even eliminate it altogether.

In the case of breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body, doctors are unable to cure it. Treatment is instead directed toward lengthening a person’s life, reducing symptoms, and improving their quality of life.

Sometimes, cancer can be cured or remitted completely through treatment. A person should consult their doctor if they experience any strange symptoms related to their breasts.

Breast cancer in the early stages is inherently benign, and many people are able to live longer than they expected thanks to treatment. Early breast cancer refers to a wide variety of stages during which cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Survival rate 

Breast cancer patients in the early stages often have a positive outlook on their lives.

Around 80% of women with breast cancer live at least 15 years after undergoing treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. The number does not vary by stage, however.

People diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage are more likely to live longer, healthier lives thanks to improved treatment options. In order to live longer, people who fear they may have breast cancer should talk with their doctor. This way, they can maximize their chances of living a long and healthy life.

With localized, early-stage breast cancer, the five-year survival rate for people who receive surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, if advised, is close to 100 percent. 

Treatment for breast cancer in stage 1 may be difficult despite this. There are a lot of side effects associated with chemotherapy, and weariness is an almost universal symptom.


  • Dimpling or irritation of the skin
  • Breast swelling
  • The skin of the nipple or breast may be red, scaly, flakey, or thickened
  • And may have changed in size or shape
  • Turning the nipple inward or changing in the appearance of the nipple
  • No breast milk leaking from the nipple
  • Painful breasts
  • Pain in the nips 
  • Breast lump 
  • Breast lump in the armpit


Breast cancer can be fatal if you don’t get diagnosed or treated early, but it can usually be treated if you are caught early. A stage 1 breast cancer treatment plan will depend on the type of cancer you have. This usually involves removing cancer, reconstructing the breast if it is necessary, and receiving hormone therapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of these. Do stage 1 breast cancer patients need chemotherapy? When breast cancer is in its early stages, chemotherapy is rarely used.

When you are told you have breast cancer, it can be frightening at any stage. Any effective treatment approach must therefore include stress management. Studies have shown that stress causes cancer to spread faster. Additionally, it results in weakened immune systems and increases the risk of depression and anxiety. Getting help from people you trust, seeing a psychologist, and exercising can help manage chronic stress.

A person with stage 1 breast cancer has two treatment options:

Local treatments

To treat cancer at a given site, there are several options, including surgery and radiation therapy.

Systemic treatments 

The four main treatments for cancer in various parts of the body are chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

When a tumor is relatively small, local treatments are often enough to eradicate it.

Usually, systemic treatment is recommended if the tumor is larger, more aggressive (has a higher tumour grade), has spread to lymph nodes, or has a molecular profile that suggests it is more likely to spread.

Adding systemic therapy to chemotherapy is considered adjuvant (add-on) therapy at stage 1 breast cancer. In this case, the aim is to remove any cancer cells that have spread outside the breast but are too small to be detected.


In most cases of stage 1 cancer, surgery is required. There are two types of breast removal (removing the entire breast or removing just a portion of it), a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. Choosing between the two can be a highly subjective process driven by a number of factors.

Following a lumpectomy, radiation therapy is often recommended.

The possibility of breast reconstruction will be discussed with you if you choose to go through with a mastectomy. More and more people are opting for skin-sparing surgery. 

During this procedure, you might also receive an implant or expander along with your mastectomy.

Besides discussing the efficacy of these procedures with your healthcare provider, make sure to inquire about what you can expect from the procedure from a cosmetic standpoint.

Radiation therapy

A lumpectomy may leave some residual breast tissue that needs to be treated. Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat this tissue.

Radiation can be applied after either a lumpectomy or mastectomy. No matter what the surgeon does during the mastectomy, every single cancer cell will not be removed by the surgeon. By destroying cancer cells that have been left behind or are too small to be seen, radiation aids in the destruction of cancer cells.


Stage 1 breast cancer can sometimes be treated with chemotherapy as an adjuvant.

Chemotherapy treatment is used in order to eliminate any cancer cells that have escaped from your breast and are on their way to spreading to other parts of your body.

In addition to tumor receptor status, chemotherapy is heavily influenced by the therapy. Patients who have HER-2 positive or triple-negative lymph nodes are frequently treated with chemotherapy even if only the lymph nodes are negative.

It has always been challenging to identify which patients will benefit from chemotherapy, especially those with node-negative stage 1 breast cancers that are positive for hormone receptors but negative for HER-2.

Genomic tests like Oncotype Dx or MammaPrint can assist doctors in deciding whether or not to recommend chemotherapy for a patient. A higher score on the test increases the chances of a recurrence, and chemotherapy may help lengthen their lives. The opposite is true for those with a low score: They are unlikely to profit from chemotherapy.

Hormone therapy

When your tumor has estrogen receptors, hormonal therapy may be recommended after the primary treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. This is done in order to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

On the other hand, ovarian cancers with an estrogen receptor are more likely to recur later in life (more than five years after diagnosis). A medication called Tamoxifen is often prescribed for women in the premenopausal stage. Among the most commonly used aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of postmenopausal women (letrozole) are Aromasin (exemestane), Arimidex (anastrozole), and Femara.

Occasionally, aromatase inhibitors are used in conjunction with other medications to reduce the function of the ovaries in women at high risk for premenopause.

HER2 Targeted Therapies

If you have HER2-positive cancer, a HER2-targeted medicine like Herceptin (trastuzumab) will be prescribed after your first treatment.

The treatment you choose must be what is best for you regardless of what others may suggest. Additionally, you need to represent your interests as a cancer patient. You are an important member of your cancer team since patients and healthcare providers are cooperating more closely than ever before.

Bone strengthening treatment

Medications designed to strengthen your bones may also be given to you. Their chemical name is bisphosphonates. Certain patients may benefit from this medication by preventing breast cancer from spreading to the bones. You may be suffering from this (postmenopause), if you have early-stage breast cancer and you no longer have periods.


A stage 1 breast cancer patient has a good prognosis. In these early stages of the disease, cancer has not yet spread to other parts of the body or lymph nodes.

The 5-year survival rate for people with stage 1 breast cancer is higher than 90% in most situations, according to a study published in 2018.

Bottom Line

All of these treatments work well for stage 1 breast cancer: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. This type of breast cancer has a favorable prognosis for its early stage. Talk to your medical team about your diagnosis so that you can find out what it means and which treatment options might be best for you. Any questions you have can be directed to your treatment team; they are ready to help!

Read also: Stage Zero Breast Cancer-0 ; Stage 2 Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer Stages; Stage 3 Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer Stages; Breast Cancer Symptoms

External resource: Verywellhalth

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