Breast Cancer Stages

The treatment options available for treating breast cancer depend on the stage of the cancer. The breast cancer stage even helps to determine your chances of surviving the disease. Besides the stage of the breast cancer other factors such as the type of malignancy, the speed of growth of the cancer cells, your age and health condition can affect the proper prognosis of the disease.

Breast cancer staging

Stage 0
This is the earliest stage of breast cancer, which is 100 percent curable. This is usually the precancerous stage, when the malignant or abnormal non-cancerous cells are non-invasive in nature. The abnormal cells do not invade the neighboring tissues, but remain confined in the area where they started. Ductal carcinoma in situ and lobular carcinoma in situ are examples of stage 0 breast cancers. Lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation and hormone therapy could help to cure stage 0 breast cancers.

Stage I
This is an early stage of breast cancer. The cancer cells at this stage are no longer non-invasive. They now start invading neighboring healthy tissues. However, at the stage I, the lymph nodes are not affected by cancer. Women at this stage of breast cancer have 90 to 100 percent chance of survival. The malignant tumors at this stage are not more than 2cm in diameter. Standard surgical procedures such as lumpectomy and mastectomy could help to cure this disease. Radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy are effective in treating stage I breast cancer.

Stage II
At this stage, the cancer cells invade the axillary lymph nodes. This stage is further divided into stage IIA and IIB. Smaller cancer tumors might be removed with lumpectomy. However, mastectomy might be required for treating bigger tumors. Radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy might be needed to shrink the tumor and prevent recurrence.

Stage III
This is an advanced stage of breast cancer. At this stage, the cancer cells might still be confined in the breast and neighboring lymph nodes or the malignant cells might invade the breast skin or the chest wall. Chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy and biological therapy are major treatment options at this stage.

Stage IV
This is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. At this stage, the cancer cells invade other organs of the body.

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