When To Consider Joining A Clinical Trial
If youre newly diagnosed with early or locally advanced breast cancer, consider joining a clinical trial before starting treatment. For most people, treatment doesnt usually start right after diagnosis. So, theres time to look for a clinical trial that youre eligible for and fits your needs.
Once youve begun standard treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer, it can be hard to join a clinical trial.
Learn more about clinical trials.
How Treatment Can Impact Survival Of Early Stage Breast Cancer
In most cases, the earlier breast cancer is first diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of survival. Cancer cells often become more difficult to treat and may develop drug resistance once they spread. The aim of treatment for Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer 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. Having treatment at this stage can also reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform a breast examination and ask about your family history, medical history and any existing symptoms. Your healthcare provider will also recommend tests to check for breast abnormalities. These tests may include:
- Mammogram. These special X-ray images can detect changes or abnormal growths in your breast. A mammogram is commonly used in breast cancer prevention.
- Ultrasonography. This test uses sound waves to take pictures of the tissues inside of your breast. Its used to help diagnose breast lumps or abnormalities.
- Positron emission tomography scanning: A PET scan uses special dyes to highlight suspicious areas. During this test, your healthcare provider injects a special dye into your veins and takes images with the scanner.
- Magnetic resonance imaging : This test uses magnets and radio waves to produce clear, detailed images of the structures inside of your breast.
If your healthcare provider sees anything suspicious on the imaging tests, they may take a biopsy of your breast tissue. Theyll send the sample to a pathology lab for analysis.
Read Also: Stage 4 Breast Cancer Spread To Lungs
Receptor Status Of Breast Cancer Cells
Breast cancer cells are tested to determine whether they have any of the following receptors:
- Estrogen receptors: estrogen receptor-positive or estrogen receptor-negative status
- Progesterone receptors: progesterone receptor-positive or progesterone receptor-negative status
- HER2 : human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative status
The type of treatment thats recommended for stage 1 breast cancer will depend on a variety of factors, such as:
Do Antiperspirants Or Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer
Research has shown that parabens can build up in breast tissues. However, this study did not show that parabens cause breast cancer or find a link between parabens and deodorant use.
A 2002 study did not show any increased risk for breast cancer in women using an underarm deodorant or antiperspirant. A 2003 study showed an earlier age for breast cancer diagnosis in women who shaved their underarms more frequently and used underarm deodorants.
We need more research to give us the answer about a relationship between breast cancer and underarm deodorants and blade shaving.
Also Check: Is Chemo Always Needed For Breast Cancer
Understanding Her2+ Status And Survival
Doctors use three markers to help define breast cancers and guide treatment. One of those is the HER2 protein. The other two are hormone receptors . When a cancer has none of these, doctors call it triple negative. Until recently, there wasnât much information about how these markers changed survival rates for breast cancer.
A recent study looked at the National Cancer Institute data to see if there were differences in survival for women based on these markers. The study shows there are. Overall, women who have HR+ and HER2- breast cancer do best. But in the later stages, those who have the HER2+ type have better survival rates than those with HER2-. Breast cancers that are triple negative have the lowest survival rates. The 4-year survival rates are as follows:
- HR+/HER2-: 92.5%
Conventional Stages Of Breast Cancer Progression: 0 Through Iv
As mentioned, there are five basic stages of breast cancer with a couple of sub-categories.
This is a bit of an unclear term which specialists use to describe the development of abnormal cells that are not yet invasive breast cancer. Indeed physicians consider Ductal Carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, stage 0 breast cancer.
Here the malignant cancer cells are present in the lining of the breast d uct but have not yet invaded the surrounding breast tissue or spread beyond the duct. Almost 100% of DCIS is curable, but it obviously, does need treatment.
Early-stage breast cancer Stage 1
Stage 1 breast cancer is an early stage breast cancer. There is a considerable difference in medical opinion as to what exactly constitutes early stag e breast cancer. Also, how aggressive the treatment for Stage I breast cancer is another area of debate.
The standard definition of a stage 1 breast tumor is that a certain amount of breast cancer cells invade tissues and structures beyond the duct lining. However, no cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.
Furthermore, the tumor size is less than 2 cm in diameter. If physicians can detect and treat breast cancer before it grows beyond 2cm, the prognosis is very very good.
The average age of diagnosis of a stage 1 breast tumor is about 52 years old. In over 90% of cases, treatment tends to involve breast conservation surgery, followed by radiation therapy.
Chance of stage 1 cancer recurrence or spreading.
Also Check: How Often Does Stage 1 Breast Cancer Return
What Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and very aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called inflammatory because the breast often looks swollen and red, or inflamed.
Inflammatory breast cancer is rare, accounting for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States. Most inflammatory breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas, which means they developed from cells that line the milk ducts of the breast and then spread beyond the ducts.
Inflammatory breast cancer progresses rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months. At diagnosis, inflammatory breast cancer is either stage III or IV disease, depending on whether cancer cells have spread only to nearby lymph nodes or to other tissues as well.
Additional features of inflammatory breast cancer include the following:
- Compared with other types of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at younger ages.
- Inflammatory breast cancer is more common and diagnosed at younger ages in African American women than in white women.
- Inflammatory breast tumors are frequently hormone receptor negative, which means they cannot be treated with hormone therapies, such as tamoxifen, that interfere with the growth of cancer cells fueled by estrogen.
- Inflammatory breast cancer is more common in obese women than in women of normal weight.
Symptoms Of Stage 1 Breast Cancer
- Tumor: One or more small tumors may be located on the breast, near the underarms or on either side, but not near the lymph nodes. This means that the cancer is not traveling to the other body parts.
- Sensitive Nipples: The nipples in stage 1 breast cancer go tender which may cause pain or a piercing sensation. Their shape may change or they may appear red or orange.
- Discharge: This is an easily identifiable symptom. The discharge from the people may differ in terms of color and consistency. It may be a clear reddish liquid due to the presence of blood, yellowish or a thick pus discharge.
- Pain: The arm on the side of the affected breast may pain like an aching discomfort.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
M Categories For Breast Cancer
M followed by a 0 or 1 indicates whether the cancer has spread to distant organs — for example, the lungs, liver, or bones.
M0: No distant spread is found on x-rays or by physical exam.
cM0: Small numbers of cancer cells are found in blood or bone marrow , or tiny areas of cancer spread are found in lymph nodes away from the underarm, collarbone, or internal mammary areas.
M1: Cancer has spread to distant organs as seen on imaging tests or by physical exam, and/or a biopsy of one of these areas proves cancer has spread and is larger than 0.2mm.
Checking The Lymph Nodes:
Before initiating the surgery with the help of an ultrasound, doctors scan the lymph nodes in the armpit close to the breast. This helps them to know about the cancer cell presence. Cells are spread to the armpits. There is a chance that the doctor will remove the left notes during the surgery.
This is all about stage one breast cancer, which we wanted to share with you. It is recommended that if you notice any changes, you contact your doctor as soon as possible and receive treatment. If you keep on avoiding it, then your chances of survival will be reduced.
Breast Cancer Stages: From 0 To 4
Stage 0 refers to noninvasive breast cancers, such as DCIS.
Stage 1 cancer is invasive and spreading beyond where it started.
In stage 1A, the cancer is 2 centimeters or smaller and has not spread into the lymph nodes or outside of the breast.
In stage 1B, small clumps of cancer cells ranging from 0.2 to 2 millimeters exist in the lymph nodes. There may not be a tumor in the breast, but if there is, it measures no bigger than 2 cm.
Stage 2 cancer also has two subcategories. Stage 2A describes a cancer that has spread to one to three lymph nodes under your arms , with or without a tumor up to 2 cm large in the breast or the breast tumor measures 2 to 5 cm, and there are no cancer cells in the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage 2B refers to a tumor between 2 and 5 cm combined with cancer in the lymph nodes , or the tumor is larger than 5 cm, but no cancer exists in the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage 3 breast cancer includes stages 3A, 3B, and 3C. In stage 3A, the tumor may be any size and has spread to four to nine lymph nodes close to the breastbone or in the axilla. The tumor may also be larger than 5 cm with small clumps of breast cancer cells that have spread to one to three axillary lymph nodes or nodes near the breast bone.
In stage 3B, the tumor has reached the skin of your breast or chest wall and caused swelling or an ulcer, and the cancer may have spread to up to nine lymph nodes under your arms or near your breastbone.
Dont Miss: What Can Cause Breast Cancer
Stage 0 Breast Cancer
Stage 0 breast cancers are often called pre-cancers, pre-invasive cancers or breast carcinoma in situ. With stage 0, abnormal cells in the breast have some cancer characteristics, but they have not yet spread into other tissues or organs.
Of the two forms of stage 0 breast cancer, the most common is called ductal carcinoma in situ or intraductal carcinoma. About 20 percent of all breast cancers are stage 0 DCIS, according to the American Cancer Society . With DCIS, the abnormal cells are limited to tissues that line the duct of the breast.
A rare disease called Pagets disease of the breast is also classified as stage 0 breast cancer. Its characterized by abnormal cells that develop in the skin of the nipple and areola. Up to 90 percent of the time, its found along with DCIS or an advanced-stage breast cancer in the same breast, according to the ACS.
Recommended Reading: Where To Check For Breast Cancer Lumps
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.
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.
Read Also: How Do Men Get Breast Cancer
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.
You May Like: What Is The Survival Rate Of Breast Cancer Stage 3
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
There are many different types of breast cancer.
Each form of breast cancer develops in a different part of the breast and can affect different tissue types.
Since many breast cancers cause no symptoms, people should attend regular screenings. This can help identify the disease in its early stages.
Below, we outline the types of breast cancer and their symptoms.
What Is Male Breast Cancer
Breast cancer in men is very rare, with less than 1 percent of all breast cancers found in men. The risk increases for older men and those with high estrogen levels, low male-hormone levels or a family history of breast cancer. Increased risk is also associated with those who have been exposed to radiation, heavy drinkers, and those with liver disease or who are obese. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and drugs that target genetic changes in cells that cause cancer.
Recommended Reading: Brca Gene For Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Signs And Symptoms
Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of your breast health. Although having regular screening tests for breast cancer is important, mammograms do not find every breast cancer. This means it’s also important for you to know what your breasts normally look and feel like, so youll be aware of any changes in your breasts.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass . A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be also soft, round, tender, or even painful.
Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Swelling of all or part of a breast
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened
- Nipple discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collar bone
Many of these symptoms can also be caused by benign breast conditions. Still, its important to have any new breast mass, lump, or other change checked by an experienced health care professional so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Remember that knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular screening for breast cancer.Screening mammography can often help find breast cancer early, before any symptoms appear. Finding breast cancer early gives you a better chance of successful treatment.
Treatment Of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
- Breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy, with or without tamoxifen.
- Total mastectomy with or without tamoxifen. Radiation therapy may also be given.
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.
You May Like: Can You Get Breast Cancer From Hitting Your Breast
Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram.
If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.
Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:
- a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different from surrounding tissue and is new
- changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
- a lump or swelling under your arm
If you have any of these symptoms, it doesnt necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a benign cyst.
Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, contact your doctor for further examination and testing.