What Is Stage Iii Breast Cancer
In stage III breast cancer, the cancer has spread further into the breast or the tumor is a larger size than earlier stages. It is divided into three subcategories.
Stage IIIA is based on one of the following:
- With or without a tumor in the breast, cancer is found in four to nine nearby lymph nodes.
- A breast tumor is larger than 50 millimeters, and the cancer has spread to between one and three nearby lymph nodes.
In stage IIIB, a tumor has spread to the chest wall behind the breast. In addition, these factors contribute to assigning this stage:
- Cancer may also have spread to the skin, causing swelling or inflammation.
- It may have broken through the skin, causing an ulcerated area or wound.
- It may have spread to as many as nine underarm lymph nodes or to nodes near the breastbone.
In stage IIIC, there may be a tumor of any size in the breast, or no tumor present at all. But either way, the cancer has spread to one of the following places:
- ten or more underarm lymph nodes
- lymph nodes near the collarbone
- some underarm lymph nodes and lymph nodes near the breastbone
Radiation For Breast Cancer
Radiation therapy is treatment with high-energy rays that destroy cancer cells. Some women with breast cancer will need radiation, in addition to other treatments.
Depending on the breast cancers stage and other factors, radiation therapy can be used in several situations:
- After breast-conserving surgery, to help lower the chance that the cancer will come back in the same breast or nearby lymph nodes.
- After amastectomy, especially if the cancer was larger than 5 cm , if cancer is found in many lymph nodes, or if certain surgical margins, such as the skin or muscle, have cancer cells.
- If cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, spinal cord, or brain.
How Does It Work
Electrical impulses change the outer layer of the cancer cells in the treated area causing gaps, called pores, to open up on the cells surface for a short time. This allows the chemotherapy drug to enter the cancer cells more easily. Once the pores close, the chemotherapy is sealed inside the cells.
The dose of chemotherapy drug is much lower than when its given to treat the whole body.
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Inflammatory Breast Cancer Pictures
Accounting for one to five percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States, inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC, is an aggressive, rare form of this disease. Inflammatory breast cancer pictures show a red and/or swollen breast that appears inflamed. Most cases are invasive ductal carcinomas, which develop in the cells lining the milk ducts and spread throughout the breast. Cells also blocks the lymph vessels located in the skin of the breast.
How Is Breast Ultrasound Performed
A breast ultrasound is performed by a healthcare provider with proper care. The breast cancer ultrasound procedure involves the following steps:
The patient will be asked to lie in the supine position on the examination table.
The hand near the side of the breast which needs to be examined is asked to raise above the head. This is done to have a clear view of the breast in ultrasound.
An acoustic gel is applied over the breast area.
Then the healthcare provider presses the transducer over the skin of the breast that gives out images of the breast. These images help in diagnosing any changes inside the breast.
Once all the procedure is done, the healthcare provider will wipe off the acoustic gel.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include swelling and redness that affect a third or more of the breast. The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised. In addition, the skin may have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange . These symptoms are caused by the buildup of fluid in the skin of the breast. This fluid buildup occurs because cancer cells have blocked lymph vessels in the skin, preventing the normal flow of lymph through the tissue. Sometimes the breast may contain a solid tumor that can be felt during a physical exam, but more often a tumor cannot be felt.
Other symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include a rapid increase in breast size sensations of heaviness, burning, or tenderness in the breast or a nipple that is inverted . 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 an infection, injury, or another type of breast cancer that is locally advanced. For this reason, women with inflammatory breast cancer often have a delayed diagnosis of their disease.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ Symptoms
Lobular carcinoma in situ does not cause symptoms and cannot be seen with a mammogram. This condition is usually found when a doctor is doing a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump. If a person has LCIS, the breast cells will appear abnormal under a microscope.
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Radiation Therapy And Mastectomy
Most people who have mastectomy dont need radiation therapy if theres no cancer in the lymph nodes.
In some cases, radiation therapy is used after mastectomy to treat the chest wall, the axillary lymph nodes and/or the lymph nodes around the collarbone.
For a summary of research studies on mastectomy versus lumpectomy plus radiation therapy and overall survival in early breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
For a summary of research studies on radiation therapy following mastectomy for invasive breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
Learning everything you can about your diagnosis can help you make informed decisions about your health. Here are some questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Where is the tumor located?
- Has the tumor spread?
- What stage breast cancer do I have?
- What do the estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor and HER2 tests show and what do the results mean for me?
- What are my treatment options?
- Is breast cancer surgery an option for me?
- Will I be able to work while I undergo treatment?
- How long will my treatment last?
- What other resources are available to me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can feel scary, frustrating and even hopeless. If you or a loved one is facing this disease, its important to take advantage of the many resources available to you. Talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options. You may even want to get a second opinion before making a decision. You should feel satisfied and optimistic about your treatment plan. Finally, joining a local support group can help with feelings of isolation and allow you to talk with other people who are going through the same thing.
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What Causes Cutaneous Metastasis
Cutaneous metastasis occurs when cancerous cells break away from a primary tumour and make their way to the skin through the blood circulation or lymphatic system. Most malignanttumours can produce skin metastasis, but some are more likely to do so than others. When the following cancers have metastasised, they have quite a high chance of affecting the skin.
- Melanoma 45% chance of developing cutaneous metastasis
- Breast cancer 30%
- Cancer of the larynx 16%
- Cancer of the oral cavity 12%
The incidence of skin metastasis varies but is somewhere between 310% in patients with a primary malignant tumour.
The sex and age of an individual also appear to determine the frequency of skin metastasis in certain primary cancers. The reason for this is unknown. In women, about 70% of cutaneous metastases originate from the breast. In men, cutaneous metastases are most often from the lung , colon , skin or oral cavity .
Below lists the common internal cancers that cause skin metastasis in decreasing order of frequency according to sex and age group.
|SCC in the oral cavity Melanoma||Melanoma|
Stage 0 Breast Cancer
What is Stage 0 breast cancer?
Stage 0 breast cancer is when the cells that line the milk ducts have become cancerous. This type of cancer is called ductal carcinoma in situ , or non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer.
At this stage, the cancer has not spread to surrounding tissues. And while its considered non-invasive, its important to remember that it can still become invasive and spread beyond the milk ducts if it isnt treated.
What are the options for Stage 0 breast cancer treatment?
- Surgery Breast surgery is often the first step at Stage 0. Depending on the size of the tumor, how fast the cancer appears to be growing and your personal preferences, there are two types of surgical options:
- Lumpectomy A lumpectomy is a targeted surgery that removes the lump or tumor in question, and a small amount of normal tissue around it. This is commonly referred to as breast conservation surgery . In the United States, most women with Stage 0 breast cancer undergo a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy.
- Mastectomy If the cancer has spread throughout the ducts and affects a large part of the breast, doctors may recommend a mastectomy. With this surgery, the entire breast is removed and possibly some lymph nodes as well.
What is the Stage 0 breast cancer treatment timeline?
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Stage 2 Breast Cancer
- Stage 2A. The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 nearby lymph nodes, or its between 2 and 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
- Stage 2B. The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes, or its larger than 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
Find out more about the symptoms of breast cancer.
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Endocrine Or Hormonal Therapy
The breasts, uterus and other female organs are composed of cells that contain estrogen receptors. When cells that have estrogen receptors become cancerous, exposure to estrogen increases the cancerâs growth. Cancer cells that have estrogen receptors are referred to as estrogen receptor-positive cancers.
The growth of ER-positive breast cancer cells can be prevented or slowed by reducing the exposure to estrogen. This is the goal of endocrine therapy for breast cancer. Clinical trials have demonstrated that five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy substantially reduce the risk of locoregional and distant recurrence, as well as the development of contralateral breast cancer, and death from breast cancer. Research shows that even in women who are disease free after 5 years of endocrine therapy there remains a steady risk of late recurrence 5 to 20 years after diagnosis.30-34
There are four main types of endocrine therapy each type stops hormone-related growth by a different method. Options for endocrine therapy are partly based on menopausal status because estrogen and progesterone levels remain low after menopause starts. In premenopausal women, surgical removal of the ovaries or suppression of ovarian activity is often used to reduce estrogen exposure. Aromatase inhibitor drugs and tamoxifen are more commonly recommended for postmenopausal women.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
Lobular carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells confined to the breasts milk-producing glands.
Because these cells do not spread to surrounding tissues, doctors do not lobular carcinoma situ to be cancer. However, it can increase the chances of developing other types of invasive breast cancer.
This condition rarely causes symptoms. Doctors lobular carcinoma in situ during a breast biopsy for another problem in the breast area. In some cases, tiny white specs of calcium called microcalcifications appear on a routine mammogram.
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Treatment By Cancer Type
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Cutaneous Metastasis
Most cutaneous metastasis occurs in a body region near a primary tumour. The first sign of the metastasis is often the development of a firm, round or oval, mobile, non-painful nodule. The nodules are rubbery, firm or hard in texture and vary in size from barely noticeable lesions to large tumours. These may be skin coloured, red, or in the case of melanoma, blue or black. Sometimes multiple nodules appear rapidly. The skin metastases may break down and ulcerate through the skin. Specific patterns include:
- Carcinoma erysipeloides: sharply demarcated red patch due to local spread of primary cancer blocking lymphatic blood vessels in adjacent skin
- En cuirasse or sclerodermoid carcinoma: indurated fibrous scar-like plaques due to cancer cells infiltrating collagen in the skin
- Carcinoma telangiectoides: red patches with numerous blood vessels or lymphatic vessels .
Depending on the location of the primary tumour, cutaneous metastasis display certain characteristic features.
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Stages Of Breast Cancer
Staging describes or classifies a cancer based on how much cancer there is in the body and where it is when first diagnosed. This is often called the extent of cancer. Information from tests is used to find out the size of the tumour, what part of the breast has cancer, whether the cancer has spread from where it first started and where the cancer has spread. Your healthcare team uses the stage to plan treatment and estimate the outcome .
The most common staging system for breast cancer is the TNM system. For breast cancer there are 5 stages stage 0 followed by stages 1 to 4. Often the stages 1 to 4 are written as the Roman numerals I, II, III and IV. Generally, the higher the stage number, the more the cancer has spread. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about staging.
When describing the stage of breast cancer, sometimes doctors group them as follows:
In situ breast cancer The cancer cells are only in the duct or lobule where they started and have not grown into nearby breast tissue . It is stage 0.
Early stage breast cancer The tumour is smaller than 5 cm and the cancer has not spread to more than 3 lymph nodes. It includes stages 1A, 1B and 2A.
Locally advanced breast cancer The tumour is larger than 5 cm. The cancer may have spread to the skin, the muscles of the chest wall or more than 3 lymph nodes. It includes stages 2B, 3A, 3B and 3C. Inflammatory breast cancer is also considered locally advanced breast cancer.
Find out more about .
Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size. Its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
The testing your doctor does will determine the stage of your breast cancer, which will affect your treatment.
Although they generally have less of it, men have breast tissue just like women do. Men can develop breast cancer too, but its much rarer.
According to the ACS , breast cancer is 70 times less common in Black men than in Black women. Its 100 times less common in white men than in white women.
That said, the breast cancer that men develop is just as serious as the breast cancer that women develop. It also has the same symptoms. If youre a man, follow the same monitoring instructions as women and report any changes to breast tissue or new lumps to your doctor.
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