Susan G Komen  
I've Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Someone I Know Was Diagnosed Share Your Story Join Us And Stay Informed Donate To End Breast Cancer
Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Treatment > Factors that Affect Treatments > Factors that Affect Treatment and Prognosis


Factors that Affect Treatment and Prognosis



Prognostic Factors
Fact Sheet

If a biopsy finds breast cancer, more tests are done on the tumor (and lymph nodes removed during surgery) to help determine your prognosis and guide your treatment. Some tests can be done on the small amount of tissue removed during a needle biopsy, while others need a larger amount of tissue removed during surgery.  

Figure 4.3 lists the factors commonly assessed, plus some of those rarely assessed or still under study. 


Figure 4.3:
Factors that Affect Treatment and Prognosis

Which factors best determine prognosis and predict response to treatment is under constant study. Only after a great deal of research has shown a factor is accurate and reliable does it become a part of standard practice. These factors are considered in combination (rather than alone) to assess prognosis.

Factors that affect breast cancer staging

The three factors that are used to classify the stage of your breast cancer are:

Ductal carcinoma in situ is considered stage 0 (or non-invasive) breast cancer and has the best chance for survival. There are four main stages of invasive breast cancer (stages I-IV). Lower stages are related to a better prognosis. 

Learn more about staging.  

Updated 02/05/14

  Lymph Node Status  next 
Tumor Size  next 
Tumor Grade  next 
Types of Tumors  next 
Tumor Characteristics  next 
Tests for Metastases  next 

Related Links

Visited by Others

Komen Videos