Breast Cancer Stages  

The system of staging cancer is very important as it not only generates a common ground of understanding of the medical condition for doctors across the globe but it also assists in making decisions with respect to the treatment and prognosis of the disease.

          The stages of breast cancer aid in evaluating and comprehending various aspects related to the disease such as the size of the tumor, the aggressiveness of the malignancy, extent of involvement of the lymph nodes and the degree of coverage of the cancer outside the breast region.

          The preliminary stage of breast cancer is designated as stage 0. This stage illustrates a condition wherein the malignancy has not spread beyond the segment of the breast affected by the disease. This stage is also called non-invasive breast cancer. Stage I signifies invasive breast cancer demonstrating a tumor of size not more than 2 centimeters with no involvement of lymph nodes.

          Stage II is further categorized into Stages IIA and IIB. The basic levels highlighted in these stages include breast tumor between the size of 2 and 5 centimeters with a probability of the axillary lymph nodes affected by the cancer.

          Stage III is also further subdivided into stages IIIA, IIIB and IIIC. These stages represent tumors of size 5 centimeters or smaller with the cancer having invaded axillary lymph nodes that are either clustered together or are fused with other structures. At times, the cancer may have even spread to lymph nodes adjacent to the breastbone or chest wall.

          Finally, there is stage IV that marks cancer of an advanced stage having spread to other parts of the body called metastatic cancer.

          Doctors also make use of an additional staging process for further clarity on the subject. This is the TNM staging format wherein T denotes the tumor size, N reflects the involvement of the lymph nodes and M provides information on the metastasis of cancer. 

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Breast Cancer Stages

 

 

    
 

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