What is the prognosis for someone who has stage 3 breast cancer with 16/17 positive lymph nodes?

Receptors

Breast_cancer
This really depends on whether the tumor displays the estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2 receptors. You can find this on your pathology report or you can ask your oncologist. The positive nodes is a worse prognosis than if 0 nodes were involved, but the prognosis can still be decent based on the receptor status that I mentioned.
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Getting better

Breast_cancer
I wrote a paper that answers this very question. In the 80's and most of the 90's it was thought that the prognosis for these patients was dismal. But looking at National Cancer Institute data of similar breast cancer patients with > 10 positive lymph nodes since 1998, the 5 year survival rate is 64%. This is a national average; some cancer centers post even better results!
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answered:

Stage 3

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Stage 3 cancer means the breast cancer has extended to beyond the immediate region of the tumor and may have invaded nearby lymph nodes and muscles, but has not spread to distant organs. Although this stage is considered to be advanced, there are a growing number of effective treatment options. This stage is divided into three groups: Stage 3A, Stage 3B, and Stage 3C.
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Breast Breast cancer Breast carcinoma Cancer Female health Muscle Neoplasms Prognosis Staging