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Stages Of Breast Cancer

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Last Updated: 16 September 2020

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Cancer occurs when changes called mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. Mutations let cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way. Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, cancer forms in either the lobules or ducts of the breast. Lobules are glands that produce milk, and ducts are pathways that bring milk from glands to the nipple. Cancer can also occur in fatty tissue or fibrous connective tissue within your breast. Uncontrolled cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and can travel to lymph nodes under the arms. Lymph nodes are the primary pathway that helps cancer cells move to other parts of the body. See pictures and learn more about the structure of the breast.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Breast Cancer Stages

Your pathology report will include information that is used to calculate the stage of Breast Cancer that is, 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. Your doctor will begin to determine this during surgery to remove cancer and look at one or more of underarm lymph nodes, which is where Breast Cancer tends to travel first. He or she also may order additional blood tests or imaging tests if there is reason to believe cancer might have spread beyond the breast. The Breast Cancer Staging system, called TNM system, is overseen by the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Ajcc is a group of cancer experts who oversee how cancer is classified and communicate. This is to ensure that all doctors and treatment facilities are describing cancer in a uniform way so that treatment results of all people can be compared and understood. In the past, stage number was calculated based on just three clinical characteristics, T, N, and M: size of the cancer tumor and whether or not it has grown into nearby tissue, whether cancer is in lymph nodes, whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond breast numbers or letters after T, N, and M give more details about each characteristic. Higher numbers mean cancer is more advanced. Jump to more detailed information about the TNM system. In 2018, AJCC updated Breast Cancer Staging Guidelines to add other Cancer characteristics to the T, N, M system to determine cancer stage: tumor grade: measurement of how much Cancer cells look like normal cells estrogen - and progesterone - receptor status: do cancer cells have receptors for hormones estrogen and progesterone? Her2 status: are cancer cells making too much of HER2 protein? Oncotype DX score, If cancer is estrogen - receptor - positive, HER2 - negative, and there is no cancer in lymph nodes, adding information about tumor grade, hormone - receptor status, HER2 status, and possibly Oncotype DX test results has made determining the stage of Breast Cancer more complex, but also more accurate. Update Guidelines mean that staging is now catching up to how people are actually treat, explain Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, ph. D, Rob and Karen Hale distinguish Chair in Surgical Oncology and director of Breast Immuno - Oncology Program at Dana - Farber Cancer Institute, who serve on an expert panel that writes updated Guidelines. When developing a treatment plan, doctors always consider tumor grade, hormone - receptor status, HER2 status, and Oncotype DX score, if applicable. So, woman diagnosed with Stage II disease that is triple - negative will have a very different treatment plan than woman diagnosed with Stage II disease that is estrogen - receptor - positive. Staging Guidelines now take into account what doctors have been doing all along.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Continued

Stage IIB breast tumor is bigger - it may be the size of a walnut or as big as lime. It may or may not be in any lymph nodes. Stage III. Cancer has not spread to bones or organs, but is considered advanced, and itas harder to fight. Iiia means cancer has been found in up to nine of lymph nodes that form a chain from your underarm to your collarbone. Or it has spread to or enlarged lymph nodes deep in your breast. In some cases, there is a large tumor in the breast, but other times there is no tumor. Iiib means a tumor has grown into the chest wall or skin around your breast, even if it has spread to lymph nodes. Iiic means cancer has been found in 10 or more lymph nodes, or has spread above or below your collarbone. Itas also IIIC if fewer lymph nodes outside the breast are affected but those inside it are enlarged or cancerous. Stage IV. Breast cancer cells have spread far away from the breast and lymph nodes right around it. The most common sites are bones, lungs, liver, and brain. This stage is described as ametastatic, meaning it has spread beyond the region of the body where it was first find.


Treating stage I breast cancer

In Stage III breast cancer, tumor is large or growing into nearby tissues, or cancer has spread to many nearby lymph nodes. If you have inflammatory breast cancer: Stage III cancer also includes some inflammatory breast cancers that have not spread beyond nearby lymph nodes. Treatment of these cancers can be slightly different from treatment of other Stage III breast cancers. You can find more details in our section about treatment for inflammatory breast cancer. There are two main approaches to treating Stage III breast cancer:

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

TNM System for Breast Cancer

Doctors also group cancers by letters T, N, or M. Each of those letters tells you something about your cancer. T stands for tumor, or lump of cancer found in the breast itself. The higher number assigned after it, bigger or wider mass. N stands for nodes, as in lymph nodes. These small filters are found throughout the body, and they are especially dense in and around breast. They are meant to catch cancer cells before they travel to other parts of the body. Here, too, numbers tell you whether cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the breast and, if so, how many. M stands for metastasis. Cancer has spread beyond breast and lymph nodes.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Stage II

Table

SEER Stage5-year Relative Survival Rate
Localized99%
Regional86%
Distant27%
All SEER stages combined90%

Stage 2 breast Cancer means that cancer is either in the breast or in nearby lymph nodes or both. It is early stage breast Cancer. Staging for breast Cancer is very complex. Below is a simplified description. Many different factors are considered before doctors can confirm your final stage. For example, they also use samples of your cancer to test for: receptors for female hormones HER2 status grade of your Cancer do speak to your breast doctor or nurse if you have any questions about your staging.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Stage III

Stage III is divided into subcategories known as IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In general, Stage IIIA describes invasive breast cancer in which either: no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor may be any size; cancer is found in 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes or in lymph nodes near the breastbone or the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters; small groups of breast Cancer cells are find in lymph nodes or tumor is larger than 5 cm; Cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near breastbone still, If Cancer tumor measure more than 5 cm across and: is grade 2 Cancer is find in 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes is estrogen - receptor - positive is progesterone - receptor - positive is HER2 - positive in general, Stage IIIB describe invasive breast Cancer in which: tumor may be any size and has spread to chest wall and / or skin of breast and cause swelling or ulcer and may have spread to up to 9 axillary lymph nodes or may have spread to lymph nodes near breastbone still, If Cancer tumor measure more than 5 cm across and: is grade 3 Cancer is find in 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes is estrogen - receptor - positive is progesterone - receptor - positive is HER2 - positive inflammatory breast Cancer is consider at least Stage IIIB. Typical features of inflammatory breast cancer include: reddening of large portion of breast skin breast feels warm and may be swollen. Cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes and may be found in skin in general, Stage IIIC describes invasive breast cancer in which: there may be no sign of cancer in the breast or, If there is a tumor, it may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and / or skin of breast and Cancer has spread to 10 or more axillary lymph nodes or Cancer has spread to lymph nodes above or below collarbone or Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near breastbone still, If above - mentioned Cancer tumor measure any size and: is grade 2 is estrogen - receptor - positive is progesterone - receptor - positive is HER2 - positive or negative learn about what treatments you can generally expect for Stage IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC in Options by Cancer Stage: Stage IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC page in Planning Your Treatment.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Stage IV

Table

SEER Stage5-year Relative Survival Rate
Localized99%
Regional86%
Distant27%
All SEER stages combined90%

Stage IV describes invasive Breast Cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body, such as lungs, distant lymph nodes, skin, bones, liver, or brain. You may hear words advance and metastatic used to describe Stage IV Breast Cancer. Cancer may be Stage IV at first diagnosis, called de novo by doctors, or it can be a recurrence of previous Breast Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Learn about what treatments you can generally expect for Stage IV in Options by Cancer Stage: Stage IV page in Planning Your Treatment.


Advanced cancer that progresses during treatment

Her2 - positive cancers that no longer respond to trastuzumab might respond to other drugs that target HER2 protein. Options for women with HER2 - positive cancers might include: pertuzumab with chemo and trastuzumab Ado - trastuzumab emtansine fam - trastuzumab deruxtecan Lapatinib and chemo drug capecitabine Lapatinib and aromatase inhibitor neratinib and chemo drug capecitabine tucatinib, trastuzumab, and chemo drug capecitabine because current treatments are very unlikely to cure metastatic breast cancer, if you are in otherwise good health, you may want to think about taking part in clinical trial testing newer treatment.


Relieving symptoms of advanced breast cancer

A person with stage 4 breast cancer may experience some symptoms specific to the breast, as well as others that affect the whole body. Lump pit skin nipple changes, such as flattening, inversion, and dimpling redness, swelling, and warmth, weakness or numbness consistent dry cough, chest pain, loss of appetite, bloating, constant nausea, severe headaches, jaundice vision problems, seizures and confusion, loss of balance when breast cancer cells move to other areas of the body, they remain as breast cancer cells. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the lungs is still breast cancer, not lung cancer. In stage 4 breast cancer, cancer spreads to different parts of the body in a process called metastasis. It may cause different symptoms depending on affected parts of the body:

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Breast cancer symptoms

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include: red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to touch the surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pit appearance, similar to orange peel heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast. One breast is visibly larger than other inverted nipple. No mass is felt with breast self - exam Swollen lymph nodes under arm and / or above collarbone Symptoms unresolved after course of antibiotics unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, breast self - exam, clinical breast exam, or even mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately. For women who are pregnant or breast - feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.


Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

Symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. Some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include: skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts Increase in size or change in shape of breast changes in appearance of one or both nipples Nipple discharge other than breast milk General pain in / on any part of breast Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of breast irritate or itchy breasts Change in breast color Increase in breast size or shape changes in touch peeling or flaking of Nipple skin breast lump or thickening Redness or pitting of breast skin it's important to remember that other, benign conditions may have cause these changes. For example, changes to skin texture in the breast may be caused by skin conditions like eczema, and swollen lymph nodes may be caused by infection in the breast or another, unrelated illness. Seeing a doctor for evaluation will help you determine whether something you notice is cause for concern.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Inflammatory breast cancer

Table

SEER Stage5-year Relative Survival Rate
Regional52%
Distant18%
All SEER Stages39%

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is a rare and very aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin breast. This type of breast cancer is called Inflammatory because breasts often look swollen and red, or inflame. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is rare, accounting for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States. Most Inflammatory Breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas, which means they develop from cells that line milk ducts of the breast and then spread beyond ducts. Inflammatory Breast Cancer progresses rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months. At Diagnosis, Inflammatory Breast Cancer is either Stage III or IV disease, depending on whether cancer cells have spread only to nearby lymph nodes or to other tissues AS well. Compared with other types of Breast Cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer tends to be diagnosed at younger ages. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is more common and diagnosed at younger ages in African American women than in white women. Inflammatory Breast Tumors are frequently hormone receptor negative, which means they cannot be treated with hormone therapies, such AS tamoxifen, that interfere with growth of cancer cells fuelled by estrogen. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is more common in obese women than in women of normal weight. Like other types of Breast Cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer can occur in men, but usually at an older age than in women. Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer include swelling and redness that affect third or more of the breast. Skin of breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruise. In addition, skin may have ridges or appear pit, like skin of orange. These symptoms are caused by buildup of fluid in the skin breast. This fluid buildup occurs because cancer cells have blocked lymph vessels in the skin, preventing the normal flow of lymph through tissue. Sometimes the breast may contain solid tumor that can be felt during physical exam, but more often tumor cannot be felt. Other symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer include rapid increase in breast size; sensations of heavy burning, or tenderness in the breast; or a nipple that is invert. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, near the collarbone, or both. It is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other diseases or conditions, such AS infection, injury, or another type of Breast Cancer that is locally advanced. For this reason, women with Inflammatory Breast Cancer often have delayed diagnosis of their disease. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is generally treated first with systemic chemotherapy to help shrink tumor, then with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy. This approach to treatment is called the multimodal approach. Studies have found that women with Inflammatory Breast Cancer who are treated with a multimodal approach have better responses to therapy and longer survival. Treatments used in multimodal approach may include those described below.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Diagnosis of breast cancer

To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to the breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand what is causing your symptoms. Mammogram. The most common way to see below surface of your breast is with an imaging test called mammogram. Many women age 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an abnormal area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests. Ultrasound. Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create picture of tissues deep in your breast. Ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between solid mass, such as tumor, and benign cyst. Your doctor may also suggest tests such as MRI or breast biopsy. Learn about other tests that can be used to detect breast cancer.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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