Breast Cancer

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. It is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers and is the second leading cause of death in women. Death rates from breast cancer have begun to drop, because of both earlier screening and better treatments.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates

5-year relative survival for Providence patients is higher than national survival as tracked by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. The survival statistics in the graph below indicate that survival is highest when breast cancer is caught at its earliest stages. The survival rate of patients treated at Providence exceeds average survival rates nationally, especially when a breast cancer is diagnosed at a more advanced stage.

5-year Relative Survival Rate: Breast Cancer

*See footnote for information on the above survival statistics and methods.

* The Providence patient groups include all patients diagnosed with cancer from 2009- 2015 who received all or part of their initial course of treatment at Providence Cancer Institute. The 5-year survival was calculated using Actuarial Survival methods. SEER relative-survival rates used for comparison are also for patients diagnosed from 2009-2015. These statistics are based on the November 2018 submission of data from the population-based SEER 18 registries and SEER*Stat Database. The survival rates have not been adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity or insurance status.

More information on SEER survival statistics and methods ›

Breast Cancer Standards of Care

National Standards of Cancer Care

Patients treated according to national guidelines for cancer care have the best survival rates and quality of life. Providence Cancer Institute meets or exceeds the targets set by the Commission on Cancer (CoC).

Commission on Cancer (CoC) Cancer Program Profile Reports (CP3R) Breast Performance Measures

Select Measures CoC Benchmark PPMC 2017 Performance1 PSVMC 2017 Performance1
Post-surgery Radiation
Radiation is administered within one year (365 days) of diagnosis for women under the age of 70 receiving breast conservation surgery for breast cancer (Accountability)
90% 94.2% 95.8%
Hormone Therapy
Tamoxifen or third generation aromatase inhibitor is recommended or administered within one year (365 days) of diagnosis for women with AJCC T1c or stage 1B-3 hormone receptor positive breast cancer (Accountability)
90% 95.2% 96.2%
Radiation Treatment Guideline
Radiation therapy is recommended or administered following any mastectomy within one year (365 days) of diagnosis of breast cancer for women with ≥ 4 positive regional lymph nodes (Accountability)
90% 100% 100%
Diagnosis Establishment
Image or palpation-guided needle biopsy to the primary site is performed to establish diagnosis of breast cancer (Quality Improvement)
80% 90.3% 88.3%
Chemotherapy Treatment
Combination chemotherapy is recommended or administered within four months (120 days) of diagnosis for women under 70 with AJCC T1cN0 or stage 1B–3 hormone receptor negative breast cancer (Accountability) * No CoC benchmark established at this time
      * 90% 94.7%

1Most recent complete treatment data available from our cancer registry. 


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* No CoC benchmark established at this time