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Stages of Breast Cancer
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Stage is usually expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV — with stage 0 describing non-invasive cancers that remain within their original location and stage IV describing invasive cancers that have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body.
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Stage 0 Stage I Stage II Stage III Stage IV TNM staging system

Understanding Breast Cancer Stages
Your pathology report will include information about the stage of the breast cancer — that is, whether it is limited to one area in the breast, or it has spread to healthy tissues inside the breast or to other parts of the body. Your doctor will begin to determine this during surgery to remove the cancer and look at one or more of the underarm lymph nodes, which is where breast cancer tends to travel first. He or she also may order additional blood tests or imaging tests if there is reason to believe the cancer might have spread beyond the breast. Cancer stage is based on four characteristics:
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the size of the cancer whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive whether cancer is in the lymph nodes whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the breast

You also may see or hear certain words used to describe the stage of the breast cancer:
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Local: The cancer is confined within the breast. Regional: The lymph nodes, primarily those in the armpit, are involved. Distant: The cancer is found in other parts of the body as well.

or metastasized. instead. to other parts of the body (M). along with all of the other results in your pathology report. In stage 0. This system is based on the size of the tumor (T). underlying chest structures. so that the results of your treatment can be compared and understood relative to that of other people. Stage 0 Stage 0 is used to describe non-invasive breast cancers. lymph node involvement (N). there is no evidence of cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which they started. changes to the breast's shape. Cancer stage also gives everyone a common way to describe the breast cancer. Stage II . but the invading cancer cells can't measure more than 1 millimeter. or getting through to or invading neighboring normal tissue. such as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). and whether the cancer has spread. Stage IA describes invasive breast cancer in which:   the tumor measures up to 2 centimeters AND the cancer has not spread outside the breast.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters – in the lymph nodes Microscopic invasion is possible in stage I breast cancer. In microscopic invasion. and there are small groups of cancer cells – larger than 0. small groups of cancer cells – larger than 0. and lymph node enlargement that is visible or that your doctor can feel during an exam. TNM is discussed later in this section. The stage of the breast cancer can help you and your doctor understand your prognosis (the most likely outcome of the disease) and make decisions about treatment. no lymph nodes are involved Stage IB describes invasive breast cancer in which:   there is no tumor in the breast.Sometimes doctors use the term ―locally advanced‖ or ―regionally advanced‖ to refer to large tumors that involve the breast skin. Stage I Stage I describes invasive breast cancer (cancer cells are breaking through to or invading normal surrounding breast tissue) Stage I is divided into subcategories known as IA and IB.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters – are found in the lymph nodes OR there is a tumor in the breast that is no larger than 2 centimeters. the cancer cells have just started to invade the tissue outside the lining of the duct or lobule. Your doctor may use another staging system known as TNM to describe the cancer.

cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel node biopsy) OR the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes Stage III Stage III is divided into subcategories known as IIIA. small groups of breast cancer cells -. but cancer (larger than 2 millimeters) is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm) or in the lymph nodes near the breast bone (found during a sentinel node biopsy) OR the tumor measures 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes OR the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes Stage IIB describes invasive breast cancer in which:    the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but no larger than 5 centimeters. Typical features of inflammatory breast cancer include: . Stage IIIA describes invasive breast cancer in which either:    no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor may be any size.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes OR the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters -.are found in the lymph nodes OR the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but no larger than 5 centimeters. cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel lymph node biopsy) Stage IIIB describes invasive breast cancer in which:    the tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast and caused swelling or an ulcer AND may have spread to up to 9 axillary lymph nodes OR may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone Inflammatory breast cancer is considered at least stage IIIB. cancer is found in 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes or in the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during imaging tests or a physical exam) OR the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters. IIIB.larger than 0. small groups of breast cancer cells (larger than 0. and IIIC.Stage II is divided into subcategories known as IIA and IIB. Stage IIA describes invasive breast cancer in which:    no tumor can be found in the breast.

such as the lungs. Metastasis) is another staging system researchers use to provide more details about how the cancer looks and behaves.   reddening of a large portion of the breast skin the breast feels warm and may be swollen cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes and may be found in the skin Stage IIIC describes invasive breast cancer in which:     there may be no sign of cancer in the breast or. or brain. The TNM system is based on three characteristics:    size (T stands for tumor) lymph node involvement (N stands for node) whether the cancer has metastasized (M stands for metastasis). Learn about what treatments you can generally expect according to cancer stage in the Options by Cancer Stage section in Planning Your Treatment. it may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast AND the cancer has spread to 10 or more axillary lymph nodes OR the cancer has spread to lymph nodes above or below the collarbone OR the cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone Stage IV Stage IV describes invasive breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body. T0 means there isn't any evidence of the primary tumor. so talk to your doctor if you are considering participation in a clinical trial. distant lymph nodes. . Your doctor might mention the TNM classification for your case. if there is a tumor. Cancer may be stage IV at first diagnosis or it can be a recurrence of a previous breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. or moved beyond the breast to other parts of the body. TNM staging system TNM (Tumor. Sometimes clinical trials require TNM information from participants. The T (size) category describes the original (primary) tumor:   TX means the tumor can't be measured or found. liver. Node. bones. skin. but he or she is much more likely to use the numerical staging system. You may hear the words ―advanced‖ and ―metastatic‖ used to describe stage IV breast cancer.

N3: These numbers are based on the number of lymph nodes involved and how much cancer is found in them. T4: These numbers are based on the size of the tumor and the extent to which it has grown into neighboring breast tissue. There are five basic stages.  Tis means the cancer is "in situ" (the tumor has not started growing into healthy breast tissue). The M (metastasis) category tells whether or not there is evidence that the cancer has traveled to other parts of the body:    MX means metastasis can't be measured or found. T3. has not involved the lymph nodes (N0). The higher the N number. a T1 N0 M0 breast cancer would mean that the primary breast tumor is less than 2 centimeters across (T1). The higher the T number. Every woman experiences it differently. the greater the extent of the lymph node involvement. N0 means nearby lymph nodes do not contain cancer. the larger the tumor and/or the more it may have grown into the breast tissue. Treatment depends on a number of factors including the size of the tumor and how far it has spread. For example. Staging doesn't tell the whole story. M1 means that distant metastasis is present. Multiple factors affect your breast cancer prognosis including:    The type of cancer you have The speed with which the cancer is growing Your general health and age at diagnosis . and a number of sub-stages. 0 through IV. T1. N1. Staging is a way of summarizing your current condition. This cancer would be grouped as stage I Treatments by Breast Cancer Stage Share this: Font size: AAA Breast cancer is a complicated disease. M0 means there is no distant metastasis. he or she can use them to assign a stage to the cancer. T2. N. or the stage of the cancer. and has not spread to distant parts of the body (M0). The N (lymph node involvement) category describes whether or not the cancer has reached nearby lymph nodes:    NX means the nearby lymph nodes can't be measured or found. N2. Once the pathologist knows your T. and M characteristics.

Radiation therapy is standard treatment after a lumpectomy. The five-year survival rate is about 100%. a drug which attacks the HER2 oncogene. After a mastectomy. you might get a lumpectomy. Get Your Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment Report Treatment Options for Stage 0 Breast Cancer Treatment is not always necessary for stage 0 breast cancer. .  A prior history of breast cancer Presence of female hormones or other genomic factors. HER2 is over expressed. in which abnormal cells appear in the ducts of the breast. it is usually very successful. Paget's disease of the nipple is an uncommon type of cancer the develops in or around the nipple. Mastectomy is appropriate if a lumpectomy is unable to remove all of the in-situ cancer. such as the HER2 oncogene that makes cancer grow faster. Stage 0 cancer may include:    Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or intraductal carcinoma. Sometimes careful observation is enough. Radiation therapy attacks any abnormal cells that might have been missed and decreases the risk of cancer reoccurence/ Endocrine therapy with tamoxifen after surgery may also help prevent cancer from developing in the same or opposite breast. Treatments for DCIS include:     Surgery is a standard. Herceptin. you might choose to have breast reconstruction surgery. LCIS raises the risk of getting invasive breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) develops when abnormal cells appear in the lobes of the breast. When treatment is needed. Treatments differ depending on what kind of stage 0 cancer you have. In over 50% of people with DCIS. For smaller tumors. Biological therapy. Some women choose a mastectomy. This is especially true if the tumor is estrogen receptor and/or progesterone receptor positive. or examestane to lower the risk of developing cancer. in which the entire breast is removed. is currently being studied in clinical trial to treat HER2-positive DCIS. Treatment may include:  Endocrine therapy with tamoxifen. raloxifene. If you know the stage of your breast cancer. you can use this quick guide to see what kinds of treatments might help. in which only the abnormal cells and some of the surrounding normal tissue are removed.

webmd. without an axillary lymph node dissection.breastcancer. Bilateral mastectomy -. or wide local excision followed by radiation. experts now think that a bilateral mastectomy is a more extreme approach than women usually need. However. with the reducing risk effects of endocrine therapy.com/breast-cancer/treatments-stage . Paget's disease of the nipple is usually treated with surgery. Historically this has been the treatment of choice to prevent breast cancer from developing in either breast.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging http://www. http://www.the removal of both breasts.

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