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Breast Cancer Stage 1 Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Stage 1 Breast Cancer Defined By Dr. Jay Harness
Common symptoms include swollen breast tissue, a new lump in the breast, a sore chest, and rib cage discomfort.

What are the symptoms of stage 1 breast cancer?

Common symptoms include swollen breast tissue, a new lump in the breast, a sore chest, and rib cage discomfort. A new lump in the skin of the breast is not necessarily cancer either. There are other benign tumors that can form on or within a mammary gland such as an abscess or fat necrosis. The formation of a secondary tumor of another type must also be considered leading to an enlarged node. Breast cancer may present with painless lymph nodes near armpit areas, slippage from its normal position, pea sized masses that don’t move when pressed upon but instead remain still and sometimes dark lumps or bumps under nipple area ducts which upon removal yield blood if biopsied .

One of the most common symptoms is pain. Other possible symptoms are changes in size, discharge from the nipple, and redness or swelling in the part of the breast or underneath it. While there can be other causes for these symptoms other than cancer, it should always be checked by a physician. Other signs that might indicate stage 1 breast cancer are new lumps found inside the breasts and masses found outside on top of the skin.

  • Dimpling skin over the breast
  • Change in size, shape or texture of breast tissue

Determining The True Stage Of Breast Cancer

All the diagnostic tests and scans up to this point have been critical for helping your doctors understand your disease. But the exact stage of cancer cant be determined until surgery happens which is sometimes referred to surgical staging or pathological staging.

Breast surgery is usually the first step in Stages 0-2, and sometimes Stage 3 breast cancer. Surgery allows your surgeon to see whats happening inside your body. It also allows them to remove cancerous tissues which is an important step in preventing the cancer from spreading and determining next steps for your treatment.

If surgery cant be done right away or at all, a clinical stage is given instead based on diagnostic imaging test results, biopsy pathology results, and a physical exam.

Biomarker Testing Is Used To Find Out Whether Breast Cancer Cells Have Certain Receptors

Healthy breast cells, and some breast cancer cells, have receptors that attach to the hormonesestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are needed for healthy cells, and some breast cancer cells, to grow and divide. To check for these biomarkers, samples of tissue containing breast cancer cells are removed during a biopsy or surgery. The samples are tested in a laboratory to see whether the breast cancer cells have estrogen or progesterone receptors.

Another type of receptor that is found on the surface of all breast cancer cells is called HER2. HER2 receptors are needed for the breast cancer cells to grow and divide.

For breast cancer, biomarker testing includes the following:

Sometimes the breast cancer cells will be described as triple negative or triple positive.

  • Triple negative. If the breast cancer cells do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or a larger than normal amount of HER2 receptors, the cancer cells are called triple negative.
  • Triple positive. If the breast cancer cells do have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and a larger than normal amount of HER2 receptors, the cancer cells are called triple positive.

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There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body

  • TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed.
  • T0: No sign of a primary tumor in the breast.
  • Tis: Carcinoma in situ. There are 2 types of breast carcinoma in situ:
  • Tis : DCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive breast cancer that is able to spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions can become invasive.
  • Tis : Paget disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the skin cells of the nipple and may spread to the areola. It is not staged according to the TNM system. If Paget disease AND an invasive breast cancer are present, the TNM system is used to stage the invasive breast cancer.
  • T1: The tumor is 20 millimeters or smaller. There are 4 subtypes of a T1 tumor depending on the size of the tumor:
  • T1mi: the tumor is 1 millimeter or smaller.
  • T1a: the tumor is larger than 1 millimeter but not larger than 5 millimeters.
  • T1b: the tumor is larger than 5 millimeters but not larger than 10 millimeters.
  • T1c: the tumor is larger than 10 millimeters but not larger than 20 millimeters.
  • T2: The tumor is larger than 20 millimeters but not larger than 50 millimeters.
  • T3: The tumor is larger than 50 millimeters.
  • T4: The tumor is described as one of the following:
  • T4a: the tumor has grown into the chest wall.
  • T4c: the tumor has grown into the chest wall and the skin.
  • Talk To Your Doctor To Find Out What Your Breast Cancer Stage Is And How It Is Used To Plan The Best Treatment For You

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    After surgery, your doctor will receive a pathology report that describes the size and location of the primary tumor, the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes, tumor grade, and whether certain biomarkers are present. The pathology report and other test results are used to determine your breast cancer stage.

    You are likely to have many questions. Ask your doctor to explain how staging is used to decide the best options to treat your cancer and whether there are clinical trials that might be right for you.

    The treatment of breast cancer depends partly on the stage of the disease.

    For treatment options for stage IIIB, inoperable stage IIIC, and inflammatory breast cancer, see Treatment of Locally Advanced Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

    For treatment options for cancer that has recurred near the area where it first formed , see Treatment of Locoregional Recurrent Breast Cancer.

    For treatment options for stage IV breast cancer or breast cancer that has recurred in distant parts of the body, see Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer.

    Read Also: How Would I Know If I Have Breast Cancer

    What Is Stage 0 Lcis

    Lobular carcinoma in situ at Stage 0 generally is not considered cancer. Although it has carcinoma in the name, it really describes a growth of abnormal but non-invasive cells forming in the lobules. Some experts prefer the name lobular neoplasia for this reason because it accurately refers to the abnormal cells without naming them as cancer. LCIS, however, may indicate a woman has an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

    If you have been diagnosed with LCIS, your doctor may recommend regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. He or she may also prescribe Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy medication that helps prevent cancer cells from growing.

    Stages Of Breast Cancer

    Your breast cancer stage indicates the severity of the disease upon diagnosis. Your breast cancer stage indicates the severity of the disease upon diagnosis. Your cancer stage will always stay the same, even if the cancer shrinks or spreads during or after treatment. For instance, if youre diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, but the tumor later grows and spreads, its not considered stage 3 or 4 breast cancer. To determine whether the cancer has responded to treatment, a new stage may later be assigned an r in front of it to show that its different from the original stage.

    Breast cancer staging is classified by:

    • The size and location of the tumor
    • Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body
    • The grade of the tumoror how likely it is to grow and spread
    • Whether certain biomarkershormone receptors or other proteinshave been found

    All these attributes help your care team determine how to treat your cancer.

    To assess the location, size and spread of cancer, your care team will use the TNM Staging System, developed and updated for breast cancer by the American Joint Committee on Cancer .

    • TNM stands for Tumor-Node-Metastasis, which are important factors in determining the severity of your cancer.
    • All cancers may be evaluated by TNM markers, but breast cancer staging also uses a few extra criteria for a more detailed description.
    • Ultimately, your specific combination of TNM and these other markers will determine your cancers stage.

    Also Check: How To Treat Stage 2 Breast Cancer

    Stage 1 Breast Cancer

    What is Stage 1 breast cancer?

    Stage 1 breast cancers are still relatively small, and theyve either not yet spread to the lymph nodes or theres only been a tiny bit of spread in the sentinel lymph node which is where the cancer is most likely to spread first. There are two types of Stage 1 breast cancer:

    • Stage 1A breast cancer Stage 1A breast cancer means the tumor is no larger than 2 centimeters, and the cancer has not spread outside the breast or to lymph nodes.
    • Stage 1B breast cancer Stage 1B breast cancer means there are small groups of cancer cells in the lymph nodes. There may or may not be a tumor smaller than 2 centimeters in the breast.

    What are the options for Stage 1 breast cancer treatment?

    • Surgery Like with Stage 0, a lumpectomy and mastectomy are both options at this stage:
    • Lumpectomy This kind of breast conservation surgery is a viable option when the cancerous cells are confined to one area of the breast.
    • Mastectomy A mastectomy may be recommended if cancer is found throughout the breast.
  • Radiation Similar to Stage 0, radiation will likely be recommended after breast conservation surgery. Depending on your type of cancer, radiation may be recommended after a mastectomy, but its not very less likely at this stage. The goal of radiation is to kill any remaining cancer cells in the chest or lymph nodes to prevent them from spreading or coming back.
  • What is the Stage 1 breast cancer treatment timeline?

    Treatment For Early Stage Breast Cancer

    How to Treat Stage I (1) Breast Cancer

    If you are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, the aim of treatment is to remove the breast cancer and any other cancer cells that remain in the breast, armpit or other parts of the body but cannot be detected.

    Treatment for early stage breast cancer can vary from person to person. The stage of your breast cancer is an important factor when making decisions about treatment. However, the most suitable treatment for you also depends on other factors, such as where the cancer is in the breast, the cancers grade, and whether the cancer is hormone receptor-positive, HER2 positive or triple-negative. Your doctor will also consider your age, general health and preferences.

    Treatment for early breast cancer may involve:

    Usually more than one treatment is used. Treatment may be given in different orders and combinations. Learn more about different treatment options here.

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    Treatment Of Metastatic Breast Cancer

    For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.

    Treatment options for metastaticbreast cancer may include the following:

    Hormone therapy

    In postmenopausal women who have just been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive or if the hormone receptor status is not known, treatment may include:

    Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.

    Detection Of Breast Cancer

    There are three types of screenings involved in detecting breast cancer: self-examination, clinical examination, and mammography.

    It is recommended that women above 20 carry out breast self-examination once a month, a week after menses. If the patient no longer has menses, she should perform breast self-examination on the same day of each month, for example the first of every month.

    Here is what you need to look out for during self-examination:

    • A lump, swelling, or thickening in the breast or underarm area
    • Changes in the size or shape of one breast
    • Puckering or dimpling of the skin of the breast or nipple
    • Persistent rash or change in the skin around the nipple
    • Recent changes in the nipple, eg. inversion, retraction
    • Any bleeding or unusual discharge from the nipple
    • Skin redness or soreness of the breast
    • Accentuated veins on the surface of the breast
    • Unusual swelling of one upper arm
    • Any enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit and collarbone areas

    Apart from breast self examination, it is advised for women above 40 to go for a clinical breast examination once a year.

    It is also recommended that women aged 40 to 49 go for a mammogram once a year, while those aged 50 and above go for it once every two years.

    on where you can get a mammogram done in Singapore. Do note that, for those above 50, mammogram is Medisave-claimable.

    In case of a suspicious lump, apart from a mammogram, a needle biopsy is necessary. Even if the mammogram returns negative, a biopsy may be needed.

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    What Are The Stages Of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

    Invasive ductal carcinoma is usually described through a numeric scale ranging from 1 to 4 . Specifically, the invasive ductal carcinoma stages are:

    • Stage 1 A breast tumor is smaller than 2 centimeters in diameter and the cancer has not spread beyond the breast.
    • Stage 2 A breast tumor measures 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter or cancerous cells have spread to the lymph nodes in the underarm area.
    • Stage 3 More extensive cancer is found, but it is confined to the breast, surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.
    • Stage 4 The breast cancer has metastasized to lymph nodes beyond the underarm area or to distant sites, such as the lungs, liver, bones or brain.

    Who Gets Breast Cancer

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    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women other than skin cancer. Increasing age is the most common risk factor for developing breast cancer, with 66% of breast cancer patients being diagnosed after the age of 55.

    In the US, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and its the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are sporadic, meaning there is no definitive gene mutation.

    Read Also: What Is The Earliest Age To Get Breast Cancer

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    Examples Using The Full Staging System

    Because there are so many factors that go into stage grouping for breast cancer, it’s not possible to describe here every combination that might be included in each stage. The many different possible combinations mean that two women who have the same stage of breast cancer might have different factors that make up their stage.

    Here are 3 examples of how all of the factors listed above are used to determine the pathologic breast cancer stage:

    What Are Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage What Is The Prognosis Of Breast Cancer

    Survival rates are a way for health care professionals to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis with their patients. The number most frequently discussed is 5-year survival. It is the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer. Many of these patients live much longer, and some patients die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change in therapies, these numbers also change. The current 5-year survival statistic is based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today. As with all statistics, although the numbers define outcomes for the group, any individuals outcome has the potential for a wide range of variation.

    All of this needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting these numbers for oneself.

    Below are the statistics from the National Cancer Institutes SEER database.

    IV 22%

    These statistics are for all patients diagnosed and reported. Several recent studies have looked at different racial survival statistics and have found a higher mortality in African-American women compared to white women in the same geographic area.

    Recommended Reading: How Did I Get Breast Cancer

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    Patients May Want To Think About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial

    For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.

    Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.

    Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.


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