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What Is Stage 3a Breast Cancer

Stage 3b Breast Cancer

Treatment Options for Stage III (3) Breast Cancer

Stage 3B breast cancer means a tumour of any size that has spread to other tissues near the breast such as skin, muscles, or ribs. At this stage, the tumour may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes. However, the cancer has not spread to other distant parts of the body.

Cancer that has spread to the skin of the breast might be inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of cancer which can be aggressive and challenging to treat.

Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer Curable

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Prognostic Indicators In Stage Iii Breast Cancer Pts Treated With Nac

We compared DFS and OS curves between pts with NIN <4 and pts with NIN 4, and a greater number of NIN was significantly correlated with poor prognoses. Tausch et al observed that an increased number of involved nodes and an increased ratio of involved to removed nodes were significantly correlated with worse DFS and OS in univariate and multivariate analyses . We compared DFS and OS curves between pts with NIN <4 and pts with NIN 4 . A high number of NINs was a significant prognostic indicator correlated with DFS and OS . In the current study, the Ki-67 index was indicated to be as an independent prognostic factor for OS . However, achieving pCR subsequent to NAC was not associated with the Ki-67 labeling index . Since the median percentage of Ki-67 was 21.3% , we compared the DFS and OS curves with a cut-off value of Ki-67 at 20% . A high percentage of Ki-67 was suggested as a prognostic indicator correlated with OS , while there was no significant difference between the DFS curves .

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Life Expectancy And Outlook

In the United States, its estimated that more than 42,000 women will die from breast cancer in 2020.

However, its important to know that aspects like life expectancy and your outlook can vary greatly based off many individual factors.

In the past, a diagnosis with HER2-positive breast cancer was associated with a poor outlook. Advances in drug therapies in recent years have improved the treatment options for HER2-positive breast cancer as well as the outlook for people with the disease.

According to the American Cancer Society, HER2-positive breast cancers are much more likely to respond to drugs that target the HER2 protein, despite the fact that they can grow and spread quickly.

This type of treatment is called targeted therapy. Well discuss it in more detail in a bit.

When considering your outlook, your doctor must analyze many other factors as well. Among them are:

Hormone treatments may be an option for cancer thats also HR positive.

Understanding Breast Cancer Survival Rates

Stage 3 (III) A, B, And C

Prognosis varies by stage of breast cancer.

Non-invasive and early stage invasive breast cancers have a better prognosis than later stage cancers .

Breast cancer thats only in the breast and has not spread to the lymph nodes has a better prognosis than breast cancer thats spread to the lymph nodes.

The poorest prognosis is for metastatic breast cancer , when the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

Learn more about breast cancer treatment.

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Is Stage 2 Cancer Serious

Stage II cancer refers to larger tumors or cancers that have grown more deeply into nearby tissue. In this stage, the cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes, but not to other parts of the body. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® , our cancer experts recognize that stage II cancer is a complex disease.

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What Does Stage 3 Mean

Because stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast, it can be harder to treat than earlier stage breast cancer, though that depends on a few factors.

With aggressive treatment, stage 3 breast cancer is curable; however, the risk that the cancer will grow back after treatment is high.

Doctors further divide stage 3 cancer into the following stages:

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Surgery As A First Treatment

You may have the whole breast removed . You may be able to have a new breast made . Do speak to your surgeon, they will tell you whether a reconstruction is suitable for you.;

You might be able to have breast conserving surgery. This may be possible if you have drug treatment first and the tumour shrinks enough to allow your surgeon to remove just the area of cancer. Before your surgery;the lymph nodes in the armpit;are checked for cancer;cells.;

After the surgery you usually have radiotherapy to the breast area.;

You might have treatment with chemotherapy for a few months. If your cancer cells have receptors for a protein called HER2 you might have a targeted cancer drug called trastuzumab as well as chemotherapy. You may have this for up to a year.

You usually have hormone therapy for at least 5 years if your cancer cells have hormone receptors.

The Tnm Staging System

Odds Of Surviving Stage 3 Breast Cancer

The TNM staging system gives the complete stage of the cancer:

  • T describes the size of the tumour.
  • N describes whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes;and which nodes are involved. For example, N0 means no lymph nodes are affected. N1 means there are cancer cells in 1 to 3 of the lymph nodes.
  • M describes whether the cancer has spread to another part of the body. For example, M0 means the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Sometimes the final TNM staging may not be certain until after surgery to remove the cancer.

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Treatment For Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

Treatment for locally advanced breast cancer varies from person to person. The stage of your breast cancer is an important factor when making decisions about treatment.

However, other factors can also be important, 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 locally advanced breast cancer will usually involve a combination of treatments, such as:

Treatments may be given in different orders and combinations. Learn more about;different treatment options here.

What Does Stage 3 Breast Cancer Mean

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Also Check: Is Breast Cancer Curable In The 3 Stage

What Does It Mean To Have Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Stage 4 breast cancer means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bones, lung and liver.

Although Stage 4 breast cancer is not curable, it is usually treatable and current advances in research and medical technology mean that more and more women are living longer by managing the disease as a chronic illness with a focus on quality of life as a primary goal. With excellent care and support, as well as personal motivation, Stage 4 breast cancer may respond to a number of treatment options that can extend your life for several years.

Checking The Lymph Nodes

File:Diagram 1 of 3 showing stage 3A breast cancer CRUK ...

Before your;treatment;you have an ultrasound scan to check the lymph nodes in the armpit close to the breast. This is to see if they contain cancer cells. If breast cancer spreads, it usually first spreads to the lymph nodes close to the breast.

Depending on the results of your scan you might have:

  • a sentinel lymph node biopsy during your breast cancer operation
  • surgery to remove your lymph nodes

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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.

Living With Stage : The Breast Cancer No One Understands

Leer en español.

Editors note: Were bringing back this piece from October 2014 for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day and to honor Jody Schoger, featured in the story. Schoger died of metastatic breast cancer in May. Want to learn more about MBC? Look for our tweets at the Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference this Saturday at Fred Hutch.

A no-nonsense Texan of 60 years, Jody Schoger* has a very no-nonsense way of educating people about her metastatic breast cancer.

âSomeone will say, âWhen are you done with treatment?â and Iâll tell them, âWhen Iâm dead,ââ said Schoger, a writer and cancer advocate who lives near Houston. âSo many people interpret survivorship as going across the board. That everybody survives cancer now. But everybody does not survive cancer.â

An estimated 155,000-plus women in the U.S. currently live with âmets,â or metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer, also called stage 4 breast cancer, means the cancer has metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brain, bones and/or other parts of the body. 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.

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The Stages Of Breast Cancer And Your Treatment Options

Compared to most other cancers, staging breast cancer is more complex. And when it comes to treating breast cancer, there isnt a one-size-fits-all approach. Your treatment plan should be created especially for you and be coordinated across specialists and thats where your cancer care team comes in.

At HealthPartners, we believe cancer treatment and care is best managed by a group of doctors and specialists in whats known as multidisciplinary conferences. This is where breast surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other members of your care team gather to discuss the best treatment sequence for you.

Below we dive into the treatment options your care team might recommend at various breast cancer stages.

Why Were New Measures Added To The Staging System

Stage 3 Breast Cancer Definition

The new measures give information on the biology of the tumor that affects prognosis. Adding these measures improved staging.

For example, with breast cancer, a large tumor may have a better prognosis than a small tumor, based on biological measures. In the same way, a small tumor may have a worse prognosis than a large tumor based on these measures.

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Neoadjuvant And Adjuvant Systemic Therapy

For women who have a hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, most doctors will recommend hormone therapy as an adjuvant treatment, no matter how small the tumor is. Women with tumors larger than 0.5 cm across may be more likely to benefit from it. Hormone therapy is typically given for at least 5 years.

If the tumor is larger than 1 cm across, chemo after surgery is sometimes recommended. A woman’s age when she is diagnosed;may help in deciding if chemo should be offered or not. Some doctors may suggest chemo for smaller tumors as well, especially if they have any unfavorable features .

After surgery, some women with HER2-positive cancers will be treated with trastuzumab for up to 1 year.

Many women with HER2-positive cancers will be treated with trastuzumab followed by surgery and more trastuzumab for up to 1 year. If after neoadjuvant therapy, residual cancer is found during surgery, trastuzumab may be changed to a different drug, called ado-trastuzumab emtansine, which is given every 3 weeks for 14 doses. If hormone receptor-positive cancer is found in the lymph nodes, your doctor might recommend one year of trastuzumab followed by additional treatment with an oral drug called neratinib for 1 year.

How A Breast Cancers Stage Is Determined

Your pathology report will include information that is used to calculate the stage of the breast cancer that is, whether it is limited to one area in the breast, or it has spread to healthy tissues inside the breast or to other parts of the body. Your doctor will begin to determine this during surgery to remove the cancer and look at one or more of the underarm lymph nodes, which is where breast cancer tends to travel first. He or she also may order additional blood tests or imaging tests if there is reason to believe the cancer might have spread beyond the breast.

The breast cancer staging system, called the TNM system, is overseen by the American Joint Committee on Cancer . The AJCC is a group of cancer experts who oversee how cancer is classified and communicated. This is to ensure that all doctors and treatment facilities are describing cancer in a uniform way so that the treatment results of all people can be compared and understood.

In the past, stage number was calculated based on just three clinical characteristics, T, N, and M:

  • the size of the cancer tumor and whether or not it has grown into nearby tissue
  • whether cancer is in the lymph nodes
  • whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the breast

Numbers or letters after T, N, and M give more details about each characteristic. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Jump to more detailed information about the TNM system.

Jump to a specific breast cancer stage to learn more:

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How To Find Support

You may be overwhelmed with organizations offering support, or you may be confused as to how to enroll or whether youre eligible. Though some of these support options happen outside of your care teams facility, speak openly with them about what kind of support you need and any questions to start.

Stay connected with your care team: They know you and they know the battle ahead. They also know which resources have been helpful for other patients, and which resources they may be able to offer. They know that factors such as stress, nutrition and sleeping problems affect your health. Theyre there to help you get what you need.

Lean on friends and family: Interactions with friends and family may be different when a cancer diagnosis is involved. Odds are that your support system wants to help, but theyll know the best ways to help if you tell them yourself. Dont be afraid to ask for what you need, whether its company on the ride to an appointment or help with household chores.

Look for support groups: If you have stage 3 cancer, youre joining a host of others who have walked a similar path. Youre not alone. Participating in a support group may help you feel more connected and understood. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have tools to help you find resources for cancer support in your area.

Stage 3a Breast Cancer

File:Diagram 3 of 3 showing stage 3A breast cancer CRUK ...

If you are diagnosed with Stage 3A breast cancer, it means that one of the following applies to you:

Either:

The tumour is less than 5 cm and breast cancer cells have been found in:

  • 4-9 lymph nodes in the armpit. or
  • 1 or more lymph nodes under the breastbone

The tumour is larger than 5 cm and breast cancer cells have spread to 1-9 lymph nodes.

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The Number Staging System

Breast cancer can also be divided into four number stages. We have put these into a table to make them easier to understand. You can .

This information is about stage 1 to 3 breast cancer.

Stage 1 breast cancer is when the cancer is 2cm or smaller. There may be no cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the armpit or tiny numbers of cancer cells are found. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast, but cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit.

Stage 2 breast cancer is when the cancer is up to or bigger than 5cm. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast. But cancer cells have spread to 1 to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit or near the breast bone.

Stage 3 breast cancer is sometimes called locally advanced breast cancer. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit and sometimes to other lymph nodes nearby. It may have spread to the skin of the breast or to the chest muscle. The skin may be red, swollen or have broken down. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast or is small but has spread to 4 to 9 lymph nodes in the armpit.

Stage 4 breast cancer is also called secondary or metastatic breast cancer. This is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, the liver or lungs. We have separate information about secondary breast cancer.

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