If someone has been diagnosed with
breast cancer, you may hear the doctor talk about breast cancer stages.
While learning what stage cancer you have may be depressing, this
information is key to figuring out just what can be done about your
cancer. Actually, breast cancer stages will deal with Breast Cancer Survival Rates. It will help you understand your Breast Cancer Prognosis that is what chance you have of surviving the cancer. Breast cancer stages will help you learn about available treatments.
What Are Breast Cancer Stages?
Your pathology report will include
information about the breast cancer stages, 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. There are essentially four breast cancer stages.
The first is stage 0. In stage zero breast cancer, atypical cells have
not spread outside of the ducts or lobules, the milk producing organs,
into the surrounding breast tissue. In stage 1 breast cancer, the cancer is no larger than two centimeters (approximately an inch) and has not spread to surrounding
or outside the breast. Stage II breast cancer is divided into two
categories according to the size of the tumor and whether or not it has
spread to the lymph nodes they are stage II a and II B.
In stage II A Breast Cancer, the tumor is less than two centimeters and
has spread up to three auxiliary underarm lymph nodes. Or, the tumor has
grown bigger than two centimeters, but no larger than five centimeters
and has not spread to surrounding lymph nodes. In stage II B, he tumor
has grown to between two and five centimeters and has spread to up to
three auxiliary underarm lymph nodes. Stage III breast cancer is divided
up into two subcategories: IIIA and IIIB breast cancer stages. Stage
III A is invasive breast cancer where the tumor is larger than five
centimeters and there is significant involvement with the lymph nodes,
i.e. they are clumped together or stick to one another. Stage IIIB is a
breast cancer tumor
of any size that has spread to the breast skin, chest wall, or internal
mammary lymph nodes. The final of the breast cancer stages, Breast
Cancer Stage IV, is a tumor that has spread beyond the breast, underarm
or internal mammary lymph nodes and may have spread to the lymph nodes
located at the base of the neck, the lungs, liver, bone, or brain. Those
breast cancer stages are according to the TNM staging classification.
Learning about breast cancer stages is a time of intense emotional stress
and confusion since it deals with the cancer progression. To figure out
the breast cancer stages, doctors may use imaging tests such as mammograms,
ultrasounds, chest x-rays, bone scans, computed tomography (CT) scans,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and positron-emission tomography
(PET) scans, as well as tests of tissue samples (biopsies). Your team
will explain which tests you need after you know which of the breast cancer stages, what to expect, and what the results mean. Again, understanding the breast cancer stages will help you to get the right treatment.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Breast Cancer Stages and What They Mean
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