Calculating Risk Based On Tumor Size
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provides a Breast Cancer Nomogram through which you can predict the likelihood that a breast cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes based on tumor size .
To complete this estimate, you are asked to agree to the conditions, and understand that it is only an estimate.
Stages Of Breast Cancer: Stage Iiib
A stage IIIb breast cancer is one in which the tumor may be of any size but it has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast. A stage IIIb designation also applies if there is evidence of either
- axillary lymph node metastasis
- internal mammary node metastasis
presenting in such a way as to suggest that total surgical removal is not possible.
There is a unique type of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, that causes the breast to appear red and swollen. This is because the cancer cells block some of the lymphatic vessels. Inflammatory breast cancers tend to have a poorer prognosis and are generally stage IIIb at least.
Can You Live 20 Years With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
Recommended Reading: Will My Breast Cancer Come Back
What Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Also known as locally advanced breast cancer, the tumor in this stage of breast cancer is more than 2 inches in diameter across and the cancer is extensive in the underarm lymph nodes or has spread to other lymph nodes or tissues near the breast. Stage 3 breast cancer is a more advanced form of invasive breast cancer. At this stage, the cancer cells have usually not spread to more distant sites in the body, but they are present in several axillary lymph nodes. The tumor may also be quite large at this stage, possibly extending to the chest wall or the skin of the breast.
Stage 3 breast cancer is divided into three categories:
Stage 3A: One of the following is true:
- No tumor is found in the breast, but cancer is present in axillary lymph nodes that are attached to either other or other structures, or cancer may be found in the lymph nodes near the breast bone, or
- The tumor is 2 cm or smaller. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are attached to each other or other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone, or
- The tumor is 2 cm to 4 cm in size. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breast bone, or
- The tumor is larger than 5 cm. Cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that may be attached to each other or to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as quitting smoking, if you smoke. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer.
Also Check: Can Cancer Come Back In The Same Breast
Urgent Advice: You Should See Your Gp If You Notice:
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
- 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.
What Happens After You Finish Initial Treatment For Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Well, you can relax and congratulate yourself that you have come this far. Ongoing monitoring and screening will be necessary to detect any recurrence or further spread. It is important to talk to your oncologist about regular check-ups and tests necessary after the initial treatment.
Furthermore, on top of conventional medicines, it may be helpful to find a group for emotional support. Many women find complementary therapies to help ease symptoms and improve quality of life.
Complementary therapies include:-
- Tai Chi
- Herbal medicines: Although please check the safety of any drugs that you take. In addition, ensure that herbal medicines do not react with your treatment, such as chemotherapy
Also Check: How You Know You Have Breast Cancer
The Science Of Lung Cancer Cell Growth
A normal lung cell becomes a cancer cell after a series of mutations in genes that control cell growth, often both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This means the cell no longer works like a normal cell. The genetic changes do not usually all happen at once, but they add up as the cells divide into the billions over a period of timeâsometimes decades. Even then, lung cancer still may be missed by a chest X-ray and the cells continue growing without anyone knowing.
Money And Financial Support
If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it difficult to cope financially.
If you have cancer or you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support, for example:
- if you have a job but can’t work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer
- if you don’t have a job and can’t work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
- if you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance
- you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home, or if you have a low household income
Find out what help is available to you as soon as possible. The social worker at your hospital will be able to give you the information you need.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Prevent Breast Cancer
Targeted Cancer Drug Therapy
Your doctor will check your cancer cells for proteins called HER2 receptors. But these are rarely found in male breast cancer. If your cancer cells have a lot of these receptors, your doctor will prescribe a targeted drug treatment for you.
The most common targeted drug for breast cancer is trastuzumab .
Breast Cancer Is A Heterogeneous Disease
Based on the presence or absence of the oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor , and the expression and amplification of the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 , breast cancer can be divided into three clinical subtypes: hormone-receptor -positive , HER2-positive and triple-negative ., In the United States, 71% of breast cancers are HR+, 17% are HER2+ and 12% are TN. Following the discovery of five intrinsic molecular subgroups of the disease based on a 50-gene expression classifier luminal A, luminal B, HER2-enriched, basal-like and normal-likeit became apparent that a large degree of unappreciated molecular heterogeneity exists across and within each subtype of breast cancer. While TN and HER2+ patients often present with basal-like and HER2-enriched cancers, respectively, HR+ women are usually diagnosed with luminal A or luminal B tumours. However, despite sharing some common traits, luminal A cancers are generally ER+, PR high and Ki67 low, resulting in low-grade, slow-proliferating neoplasms, whereas luminal B tumours are typically ER+, PR variable and Ki67 variable, translating into more aggressive cancers with a higher proliferative rate.
Read Also: How To Lower Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Box 1 How Rapid Autopsy Studies Can Inform On Metastatic Dissemination And Relapse
Rapid autopsy: rapid post-mortem collection, examination and biobanking of tissuesfresh, snap-frozen and fixedfrom deceased patients shortly after death.
Rapid autopsy cancer programme: coordinated effort among oncologists, pathologists and scientists aimed at collecting specimens from cancer patients within a post-mortem interval of 68h before key biological information within the tissues of interest is lost.
Multiregional biopsies: to conduct extensive, spatial sampling of tissuesprimary and metastatic, cancerous and normalfor in-depth, high-resolution multi-omics analysis.
Physiological model: to analyse DTCs in their natural metastatic niche.
to generate novel, ex vivo living patient-derived modelsautopsy-derived xenografts and organoids of metastatic tumours from sites that would otherwise be difficult to sample for functional evaluation .
Cancer evolution: to study the phylogenetic relationship of each sampled site to each other and infer the complete clonal evolution of a neoplasm.
Dormancy: to examine why some DTCs lodged in certain organs of the human body become dormant for years to decades.
Drug resistance: to study why DTC spread across different sites responds differently to therapy, with some developing resistance and others remaining sensitive to treatment.
Recurrence: to understand why only some DTCs residing in certain sites of the human body give rise to active metastases, ultimately responsible for patients relapse.
Treatment Should Begin Without Delay
Inflammatory breast cancer needs treatment as soon as possible. However, because of the unique properties it is recommended that an oncologist with experience in inflammatory breast cancer heads the treatment and management team.
Management of inflammatory breast cancer requires a combined-modality approach to therapy.
Don’t Miss: How Can Breast Cancer Spread
Every Cancer Is Different
First, it’s important to note that every person is different, and so is every cancer. Even two lung cancers of the same type and stage may behave quite differently at the molecular level.
Not every cancer grows at the same rate. Even if they did, and you have reliable estimates for growth rate, you still need more information to make decisions about your lung cancer care.
One issue is the timing between a diagnosis and the start of treatment, and how that affects outcomes. In some cases, waiting a month for test results may lead to better outcomes than beginning treatment right away. That’s especially true when targeted therapies are available for specific gene mutations.
Lung cancer growth rates are essential to know. But as cancer care becomes more personal, with cutting-edge treatments that target specific genetic changes, it’s not the only thing to know. The type of lung cancer and other factors contribute to how cancer cells will grow and spread.
How Breast Cancer Spreads
Breast cancer can spread to other regions of the body in a few primary ways:
When breast cancer spreads to another organ it is still breast cancer. For example, if breast cancer were to spread to the lungs it would not be called lung cancer. Instead, we’d refer to it as breast cancer spread to the lungs or breast cancer with lung metastases. If you were to look at the cancer cells in the lungs under the microscope they would be cancerous breast cells, not cancerous lung cells.
Cancers that have spread to other tissues may be different than the original tumor, and this is another area of confusion. Cancers aren’t just a clone of abnormal cells that propagate mindlessly. Rather, they are continually changing and developing new mutations. For this reason, a tumor that was estrogen receptor positive when found in the breast may now be estrogen receptor negative. HER2 status may change as well. This also explains why metastatic tumors are sometimes more aggressive than the original tumor.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Disability If You Have Breast Cancer
Why It Spreads And Recurs
You may be wondering why breast cancer cells travel at all. Or, why normal cells don’t spread around our bodies. Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways. One of these is that normal cells have what is known as “adhesion molecules.” These adhesion molecules act like glue and keep cells where they belong in a particular part of the body.
Normal cells also have “boundaries” or ways in which cells communicate with each other. This is like one country saying to another “you don’t belong here.” Cancer cells, in contrast, don’t respect these cellular communications, essentially ignoring the “fences” between different tissues.
Yet another confusing topic when talking about breast cancer spread is why it can happen years or even decades later. We know that, especially with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers, cancer can seemingly disappear only to recur many years after the original tumor. Nobody is certain exactly how this happens, but there are theories about recurrence that suggest that some breast cancer cells are hardier than others and that these cancer “stem cells” are able to lie dormant even through treatment.
What Is Breast Cancer
Cancer occurs when changes called mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way.
Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast.
Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. Cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast.
The uncontrolled cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. The lymph nodes are a primary pathway that help the cancer cells move to other parts of the body.
Don’t Miss: What Does Stage 3 Breast Cancer Look Like
Factors That Affect Growth Rate
A number of different studies have demonstrated some of the factors that influence the rate of growth of a breast cancer. These include:
- The type of cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow much more rapidly than other types of breast cancer
- Age at diagnosis: Breast cancers in young women tend to grow more rapidly than breast cancers in older women and have a higher tumor grade
- Menopausal state: Breast tumors often grow more rapidly for women who are premenopausal than for those who are postmenopausal, likely due to estrogen in the body.
- Receptor status: Triple negative cancers, in general, grow more rapidly than estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Triple positive tumors also grow more rapidly.
- Estrogen treatment: Women who used hormone replacement therapy after menopause had, in general, more rapid growth rate of breast tumors.
- Ki-67 index: A higher index means a faster doubling time.
- Tumor grade: A higher tumor grade indicates a faster doubling time.
How Do Breasts Start To Develop
When breasts start to develop, a small bump called a breast bud grows under the nipple and areola .
The breasts get bigger and rounder as the fatty tissue and milk-producing glands inside the breasts continue to grow. The areola also gets bigger and darker and the nipples may stick out.
Youll probably notice that you and your friends grow in different ways. One girls breasts may start to develop first, but her friend may get her period earlier. Bodies dont develop in any set order and everyones different.
You May Like: How Common Is Breast Cancer In 30s
Doubling Time Of Small Cell Lung Cancer
Doubling time with small cell lung cancer has been studied less than that of NSCLC, but appears to be both rapid and dependent on stage. Unlike NSCLC and its four stages, small cell lung cancer has only two stages: limited stage and extensive stage.
In a study looking at initial CT image scans, the average doubling time for small cell lung cancer was 70 days for the primary tumor, and 51.1 days for affected lymph nodes. The doubling time was much faster with extensive stage disease when compared with limited stage disease .
Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones.
You May Like: What Was Your First Breast Cancer Symptom
How Long Does It Take For Toxoplasmosis To Develop
The time between contact with the infected source and the development of the disease is not known.
In one outbreak caused by eating under cooked meat, the disease developed 10 to 23 days after exposure.
Another outbreak caused by contact with contaminated cat feces occurred 5 to 20 days after exposure.
How Fast Does Metastatic Breast Cancer Spread
Like all cells, breast cancer cells grow by cellular division. But because cancer cells are mutated, their growth rate can be difficult to predict.
According to the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center, breast cancer cells need to divide at least 30 times before they are detectable by physical exam.
Each division takes about 1 to 2 months, so a detectable tumor has likely been growing in the body for 2 to 5 years.
Generally speaking, the more cells divide, the bigger the tumor grows. The larger the tumor, the greater the odds that it may invade nearby tissues, the lymphatic system, or the circulatory system, and spread to other organs.
Breast cancer grading and staging can provide some clues to how aggressive your cancer is.
Grade 3 breast cancer is likely to spread faster than grade 1 or 2, for example.
that can affect how quickly your breast cancer may spread include:
are the two primary metrics used to assess breast cancer.
You May Like: Can Estroven Cause Breast Cancer