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How Many Stages Of Breast Cancer Are There

How Much Do Tamoxifen And Raloxifene Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer

What Are the Stages of Breast Cancer? | Breast Cancer

Multiple studies have shown that both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in healthy postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen lowered the risk by 50 percent. Raloxifene lowered the risk by 38 percent. Overall, the combined results of these studies showed that taking tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by at least one-third. In one trial directly comparing tamoxifen with raloxifene, raloxifene was found to be slightly less effective than tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer.

Both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved for use to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for use in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women . Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.

Less common but more serious side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include blood clots to the lungs or legs. Other serious side effects of tamoxifen are an increased risk for cataracts and endometrial cancers. Other common, less serious shared side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

More Information About The Tnm Staging System

The T category describes the original tumor:

  • TX means the tumor can’t be assessed.
  • T0 means there isn’t any evidence of the primary tumor.
  • Tis means the cancer is “in situ” .
  • T1, T2, T3, T4: These numbers are based on the size of the tumor and the extent to which it has grown into neighboring breast tissue. The higher the T number, the larger the tumor and/or the more it may have grown into the breast tissue.

The N category describes whether or not the cancer has reached nearby lymph nodes:

  • NX means the nearby lymph nodes can’t be assessed, for example, if they were previously removed.
  • N0 means nearby lymph nodes do not contain cancer.
  • N1, N2, N3: These numbers are based on the number of lymph nodes involved and how much cancer is found in them. The higher the N number, the greater the extent of the lymph node involvement.

The M category tells whether or not there is evidence that the cancer has traveled to other parts of the body:

  • MX means metastasis can’t be assessed.
  • M0 means there is no distant metastasis.
  • M1 means that distant metastasis is present.

How Many Stages Of Breast Cancer Are There

  • Baton Rouge General

Even if youve never been diagnosed with cancer yourself, youre likely familiar with different stages of cancer. They help explain how widespread or advanced the cancer is, and knowing where you fall is important when trying to understand your diagnosis and what types of treatments are on or off the table. Lets take a more detailed look at what each stage means and how your doctor determines it.

Most cancers have four stages, but breast cancer actually has five stage zero through stage four — and theyre represented with Roman numerals.

Stage 0: Abnormal cells are present, but they havent spread to surrounding tissue. This stage includes carcinoma in situ , which may become cancer.

Stage I: Tumor cells have spread to surrounding breast tissue but are still contained to a small area. Often called early stage, this stage is divided into IA and IB based on the size of the tumor and where its located.

Stage II: Cancer has grown larger but is still in a limited region. This stage is often called localized because some lymph nodes may be involved, usually those around the armpit. Its also separated into an A and B category.

Stage III: Cancer has spread further into the breast, or the tumor has grown larger. Often called regional as more lymph nodes are involved, this stage has three subcategories A, B and C. In the latter two, cancer may have spread to the skin and lymph nodes near the breastbone or collarbone.

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Who Gets Breast Cancer

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 it’s 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.

Stage Iia & Iib Treatment Options

Signs of Breast Cancer Images and Facts

Stage II is divided into subcategories known as IIA and IIB.

In general, stage IIA describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • no tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or in the lymph nodes near the breast bone or
  • the tumor measures 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes or
  • the tumor is larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes

Still, if the cancer tumor measures between 2 and 5 cm and:

  • has not spread to the lymph nodes or parts of the body away from the breast

it will likely be classified as stage IB.

Similarly, if the cancer tumor measures between 2 and 5 cm and:

it will likely be classified as stage IA.

In general, stage IIB describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • the tumor is larger than 2 cm but no larger than 5 cm small groups of breast cancer cells larger than 0.2 mm but not larger than 2 mm are found in the lymph nodes or
  • the tumor is larger than 2 cm but no larger than 5 cm cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone or
  • the tumor is larger than 5 cm but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes

Still, if the cancer tumor measures between 2 and 5 cm and:

  • cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes

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What Are Breast Cancer Stages

The stage of a cancer describes the size of the cancer and how far it has spread.

Your breast cancer may be described as stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4.

An early form of breast cancer called DCIS is sometimes referred to as stage 0 breast cancer.

The stage takes into account:

  • The size of the cancer
  • Whether the lymph nodes are affected
  • If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

The stage of your cancer may not be fully known until after you have had surgery.

Treatment For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Typically, treatment for stage 4 breast cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy .

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the protein that allows cancer cells to grow and this type of therapy may also be an option for people with stage 4 breast cancer.

Sometimes, surgeons will operate to try and remove tumors though this is not usually the first option for treatment.

Doctors, however, may recommend surgery to help with pain relief by treating some of the issues that may develop as a result of having stage 4 breast cancer. These include spinal cord compression, removing single masses caused by metastasis, and fixing any broken bones.

A doctor may also prescribe medication to treat related symptoms such as:

  • antidepressants to help mood
  • anticonvulsants to manage pain or neurologic conditions
  • local anesthetics to manage pain

New treatments and therapies are emerging all the time, and anyone who has breast cancer at any stage can volunteer to try out these new treatments. People considering this should talk to their doctor to see whether any trials are available in their area.

Trials for a new treatment called immunotherapy are currently taking place. Immunotherapy works by raising the bodys natural ability to fight off cancer and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

As well as numbers, a zero or an X often follow the letters T, N, and M. According to the AJCC, the meanings are as follows:

These include:

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What Is Stage Iv Breast Cancer

Stage IV is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. It has spread to nearby lymph nodes and to distant parts of the body beyond the breast. This means it possibly involves your organs such as the lungs, liver, or brain or your bones.

Breast cancer may be stage IV when it is first diagnosed, or it can be a recurrence of a previous breast cancer that has spread.

What Is Stage Iii Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Stages, Treatment & Signs

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
  • the skin

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How Can I Protect Myself From Breast Cancer

Follow these three steps for early detection:

  • Get a mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends having a baseline mammogram at age 35, and a screening mammogram every year after age 40. Mammograms are an important part of your health history. Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force came out with new recommendations regarding when and how often one should have mammograms. These include starting at age 50 and having them every two years. We do not agree with this, but we are in agreement with the American Cancer Society and have not changed our guidelines, which recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40.
  • Examine your breasts each month after age 20. You will become familiar with the contours and feel of your breasts and will be more alert to changes.
  • Have your breast examined by a healthcare provider at least once every three years after age 20, and every year after age 40. Clinical breast exams can detect lumps that may not be detected by mammogram.

What Is The Best Treatment For Breast Cancer

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments is used. The treatments used depend on:

  • The cancer itself – its size and stage , the grade of the cancer cells, and whether it is hormone responsive or contains HER2 receptors AND
  • The woman with the cancer – your age, whether or not you have had your menopause, your general health and personal preferences for treatment.

You should have a full discussion with a specialist who knows your case. They will be able to give the pros and cons, likely success rate, possible side-effects and other details about the various possible treatment options for your type of cancer.

You should also discuss with your specialist the aims of treatment. For example:

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What Do Cancer Stages And Grades Mean

The stage of a cancer describes the size of a tumour and how far it has spread from where it originated. The grade describes the appearance of the cancerous cells.

If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you may have more tests to help determine how far it has progressed. Staging and grading the cancer will allow the doctors to determine its size, whether it has spread and the best treatment options.

In Situ Vs Invasive Breast Cancers

Breast Cancer Stages

The type of breast cancer can also refer to whether the cancer has spread or not. In situ breast cancer is a cancer that starts in a milk duct and has not grown into the rest of the breast tissue. The term invasive breast cancer is used to describe any type of breast cancer that has spread into the surrounding breast tissue.

Invasive breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma makes up about 70-80% of all breast cancers.

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Genetic Variation In Stromal Proteins Decorin And Lumican With Breast Cancer: Investigations In Two Case

The stroma is the supportive framework of biologic tissue in the breast, consisting of various proteins such as the proteoglycans, decorin and lumican. Altered expression of decorin and lumican is associated with breast tumors. We hypothesized that genetic variation in the decorin and lumican genes may contribute to breast cancer.

Treatment For Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Doctors can offer a variety of treatment options for stage 1 breast cancer, although surgery is the primary treatment.

Surgery

A lumpectomy or mastectomy are both viable surgical options for people with stage 1 breast cancer. A doctor will decide what surgery is most appropriate depending on the location of the primary tumor, how large it is, the size of the breast, family history, genetics, and the persons preference.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a standard treatment for stage 1 breast cancer. However, a doctor may not recommend radiation therapy for people over 70 years old, particularly if hormone therapy is suitable.

Hormone therapy

If the breast cancer is ER+ or PR+, hormone therapy may be effective. Hormone therapy works by preventing the growth of estrogen, which helps cancer grow. Hormone therapy can reach cancer cells in the breast as well as other areas of the body and reduces the risk of the cancer coming back.

Chemotherapy

Before recommending chemotherapy, a doctor will test to see whether the cancer is hormone receptive.

If the test results show that the cancer is not receptive to estrogen and progesterone or to another protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 , it is known as triple-negative breast cancer .

Hormone therapy is ineffective against this cancer type, and people who have TNBC will usually need chemotherapy.

Stage 2 breast cancer also has subcategories known as 2A and 2B.

Stage 2A breast cancer is an invasive cancer where:

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Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Stage 1breast cancer means the breast tumor has just started to invade nearby, non-breast tissue.

Stage 1 is divided into two categories.

Stage 1A means the tumor size is 20 millimeters or less, and there is no lymph node involvement.

Stage 1B means the tumor size is also 20 millimeters or less. But in this stage, there is something called micrometastasis. This means that a small amount of cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. These cells cannot be detected on imaging studies. This is why a sample of lymph nodes are removed during surgery, so they can then be checked for cancer.

Treatment For Stage 0 Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Biology, Stages, and Types | Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

There is a variety of treatment options for stage 0 breast cancer, including:

Surgery

A lumpectomy involves removing cancerous cells from the breast. It is an option when the cells remain in one area. This is a relatively short and simple procedure, and a person should be able to go home after the surgery on the same day.

If cancerous cells appear throughout the breast, the doctor may recommend a mastectomy, which involves removing the entire breast. Plastic surgeons can rebuild the breast at the same time or a later date.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy can help kill cancer cells and inhibit them from spreading. A person will typically undergo radiation therapy once the breast surgery site has healed. This is usually 4-6 weeks after surgery.

Hormone treatment

The hormone estrogen, found naturally in the body, can impact some types of breast cancer. If a person has estrogen receptor-positive or progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer, a doctor may suggest hormone treatment in addition to surgery.

The person may also require radiation therapy to manage the levels of these hormones in the body.

Stage 1 breast cancer means the cancerous cells are invading the surrounding breast tissue. Stage 1 breast cancer has two subcategories 1A and 1B.

People with stage 1A breast cancer have breast cancer with:

  • A tumor measuring no more than 2 centimeters in diameter that has not spread outside the breast.

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What Is Stage 0

Stage 0 is the least invasive stage of breast cancer and usually detected early in patients, according to the American Cancer Society. In this stage, cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells are only in the part of the breast in which they formed and haven’t spread.

“At this stage of breast cancer, we tell patients not to be too worried. Stage 0 is extremely treatable and we ask people not to shed a tear over the diagnosis just yet,” said Cruz.

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