Breast Cancer Stages
Staging is very important while deciding on cancer treatment. The higher the stage the more advanced the cancer. For advanced cancers, more aggressive treatments would be recommended. For early stage cancers your doctor would test for cancer recurrence chances through tests like EndoPredict.
After clinical examination and radiological imaging breast cancer is staged between stages I to IV. These stages vary due to the following factors:
- Tumor size
- Nodal status
- Status of spreading to other parts of body
- Degree of invasion
- Growth rate of the tumor
Stages and Survival Rates
Stage 0 breast cancer
Cancer cells are localized in the breast. There is no evidence of spread to the lymph nodes. This is often referred as carcinoma in situ.
Stage 1 breast cancer
Cancer is 2 centimeters or less and hasn’t spread to anywhere
Stage 2A breast cancer
The tumor is either of the following:
- Larger than 2 centimeters but smaller than 5 centimeters but has not spread to underarm lymph nodes
- Smaller than 2 centimeters but has underarm lymph nodes involvement
Stage 2B breast cancer
Cancer is either of these two:
- Larger than 5 centimeters but without underarm lymph nodes that tests positive for malignancy
- Larger than 2 but less than 5 centimeters but has lymph node involvement
Stage IIIA breast cancer or locally advanced breast cancer
- Cancer tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm or near the breastbone.
- Lymph nodes that are malignant are sticking to one another or surrounding tissue.
Stage IIIB breast cancer
Cancer has spread to the skin or to the chest wall.
Stage IIIC breast cancer
A tumor of any size that has spread more significantly and involves multiple lymph nodes.
Stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer
Cancer tumor (size does not factored) has spread to organs and tissue far away from the breast. It could have spread to bones, lungs, liver, brain, or distant lymph nodes.