Stages of early breast cancer
The understanding of the five stages of Early Breast Cancer is a key driver for treatment decisions.
If you have early breast cancer, your doctor may have described it in terms of a stage. Things like stage 1A or stage 2B.
But what does that mean exactly? [MUSIC PLAYING] Breast cancer falls into one of five stages.
0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Finding out your stage can be a complex process
because we doctors can use different systems to figure it out. But generally, the different stages refer to how big the cancer is and how much it
may have spread. The lower the number, the less it has spread. The stages that are considered early breast cancer
are stages 0, 1, 2, and 3A. Stage 0 cancers are also called Ductal Carcinoma
In Situ or DCIS. These cancers are non-invasive. But if left untreated, they can eventually invade
the duct wall and even spread. Stage 1 breast cancer has invaded the wall of a duct
or lobule and are small. 1A cancers are under 2 centimeters in size and did not leave the breast itself.
1B cancers are also under 2 centimeters, but cancer cells are found in the armpit lymph nodes. Like stage 1, stage 2 is also broken
into two groups, 2A and 2B. Stage 2A means either the cancer is under 2 centimeters
and found in 1 to 3 armpit lymph nodes. Or that the cancer is slightly larger, between 2 and 5 centimeters, but is not found in the lymph nodes.
Stage 2B includes the cancers 2 to 5 centimeters in size that have also spread to 1 to 3 armpit lymph nodes.
Or a larger cancer, 5 centimeters or more that has not spread to the lymph nodes. Moving on up, stage 3 cancers can be any size
and spread to between 4 and 9 lymph nodes, or larger than 5 centimeters and spread to between 1 and 9 lymph
nodes. Now I know all of this sounds scary. But the good news is that with treatment, many people with early breast cancer
have a high rate of survival. Cancer treatments are continually improving, so talk to your doctor. Together you can find the treatment that works for you.
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