5 Breast Cancer Stages, Revealed

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5 Breast Cancer Stages:

Breast cancer is the most common in women with more than 50,000 new cases per year. The staging of breast cancer makes it possible to determine the degree of extension of the pathology. The stage is determined thanks to the elements of the assessment at the time of diagnosis (clinical examination by the doctor, additional examinations such as mammography, ultrasound, MRI, etc.).

How to understand the stages of breast cancer

Your pathology report includes information regarding the breast cancer stages, that is, if it happens to be incomplete to one particular area of ​​the breast or in the event that it has spread to fit tissue inside the breast or to other parts of the body.

The stage of the cancer is based on four factors:

  • Size of the tumor
  • If the cancer is non-invasive or invasive
  • If the cancer has taken over the lymph nodes
  • If the cancer has spread towards rest of the parts of the body outside the breast

Stage 0

Stage 0 is used to describe non-invasive cases of breast cancer, such as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). In stage 0, there is no evidence of cancer cells or abnormal noncancerous cells leaving the area of ​​the breast where they originated or taking up or invading surrounding normal tissues.

Stage I

Stage I describes invasive breast cancer (cancer cells take up or invade the normal breast tissue that surrounds them).

Stage II

There is no tumor into the breast, but cancer cells (exceeding 2 mm) are discovered in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes (under the arms) or in lymph nodes close to the breastbone (found during a sentinel node biopsy)

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Stage III

there is no tumor into the breast or tumor might be any size, and cancer was detected in 4 to 9 lymph nodes, axillary, close to the breastbone (found at the time of imaging or physical inspection) OR

Tumor happens to be larger than 5 cm, and trivial clusters of cancer cells bigger than 0.2 mm but less than 2 mm are perceived in the lymph nodes.

Stage IV

Stage IV happens to define destructive breast cancer, spread outside the breast and close to the lymph nodes to rest of the organs in your body, like distant lymph nodes, the lungs, bones, skin, liver, and brain.

A cancer might be stage IV at first analysis or it might be a reappearance of earlier breast cancer which has spread to rest of the parts of human body.

Biopsy results

The tumor sample taken by biopsy is examined in the laboratory. The method and results of this examination are called anatomopathology. This step is very important to confirm the results of the biopsy and to provide more information about the cancer.

The different treatments

Surgery

Surgery of the lymph nodes in the armpit: in most cases, we will prefer only the removal of the sentinel node, the first relay in the lymph node chain in the armpit. In case of lymph node involvement, we will often have to perform an axillary dissection, that is to say remove the lymph node chain.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy uses high energy ionizing radiation. This method preserves nearby healthy tissues and organs.

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Chemotherapy

It is a treatment administered by the general route, intravenously most often, requiring then the installation of a catheter for the administration of the treatment. Side effects are variable depending on the treatment protocols.

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