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What Is The Worst Stage Of Breast Cancer

New Method Reassured Trial Participants

Early Stage Breast Cancer An Introduction

Among the 146 people with breast cancer who took part in the trial, 91% reported finding the three scenario method helpful, while 88% said that the approach allowed them to plan for the future and helped them better understand the possible outcomes.

As many as 77% of the trial participants reported that they found the three scenarios either equal to or more optimistic and reassuring than they had expected. Dr. Kiely believes that this is because the three scenario approach allows individuals to prepare for the worst while still feeling able to hope for the best.

If we tell a patient that her estimated median survival time is 6 months, that conveys no hope of a possible longer survival, even though she has a 50% chance of living longer, says the specialist.

On the other hand, she points out, providing three scenarios helps patients prepare for the possible worst case and, at the same time, hope for the possible best case. This is more helpful for patients making plans and decisions for the future.

Dr. Kiely and team are now encouraging other colleagues from the medical profession to consider using this approach when advising their patients with late stage breast cancer.

However, she adds that at the moment, we also know that many patients are not having these conversations.

Most patients with advanced cancer want some information about how long they are likely to live, although many say they find it difficult to ask this question, says Dr. Cardoso.

Research Into Advanced And Metastatic Breast Cancer

As metastatic breast cancer remains the leading cause of death from breast cancer, NBCF is committed to funding a broad spectrum of research that helps to further understand breast cancer metastasis, develop improved treatment options and enhance patient quality of life for those with metastatic breast cancer.

What Are Breast Cancer Symptoms And Signs

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. In addition, the following are possible signs of breast cancer:

  • Thickening or lump in the breast that feels different from the surrounding area
  • Inverting of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge or redness
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Tubular carcinoma
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    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:

    • Age. Your risk for developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over age 55 years.
    • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
    • Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk for breast cancer.
    • Gender. White women are

    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.

    What Are The Statistics On Male Breast Cancer

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    Breast cancer is rare in men but typically has a significantly worse outcome. This is partially related to the often late diagnosis of male breast cancer, when the cancer has already spread.

    Symptoms are similar to the symptoms in women, with the most common symptom being a lump or change in skin of the breast tissue or nipple discharge. Although it can occur at any age, male breast cancer usually occurs in men over 60 years of age.

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    Infiltrating/invasive Lobular Breast Carcinoma

    Infiltrating lobular carcinoma usually appears as a subtle thickening in the upper-outer breast quadrant.

    As the name suggests, these tumours originate mostly in the breast lobules rather than the lining of the breast ducts.

    Invasive lobular cancer is a less common type of breast cancer than invasive ductal cancer. This cancer accounts for about 10% of all invasive breast cancer cases.

    Prognosis for infiltrating and invasive lobular breast carcinomas will naturally be influenced by tumor size, grade, stage and hormone receptor status..

    However, lobular breast cancers, when positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, tend to respond very well to hormone therapy.

    The overall breast cancer survival rates for infiltrating lobular carcinoma, when matched by stage, are a little higher than for ductal carcinoma for the first 5 years.

    Survival rates range from about 77% to 93%, but on average, the 5-year survival rate was estimated at about 90%.


    How Fast Does Triple Negative Breast Cancer Grow

    How Fast does Triple Negative Cancer Grow. The class is likely to be higher than other types of breast cancer. The higher the class, the fewer cancer cells resemble normal breast cells healthy in appearance and their patterns of growth. On a scale of 1 to 3, triple-negative breast cancer often class 3.

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    The 4 Stages Of Breast Cancer

    The four stages of breast cancer include

    • Stage I: It is divided into two groups.
    • Stage IA: Cancer is 2 cm or smaller and has not spread outside the breast.
    • Stage IB: Cancer has spread to the lymph node and is between 0.2 and 2 mm in size.
  • Stage II: It is divided into two groups.
  • Stage IIA: The tumor in the breast is still small. There may or may not be cancer spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIB: Tumor could be the size of a walnut or lime. It may or may not spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: Cancer hasnt spread to bones or organs. However, it is considered an advanced stage. There are three groups.
  • Stage IIIA: The tumor has been found in up to nine lymph nodes in the underarm to the collarbone.
  • Stage IIIB: The tumor has grown into the chest wall or skin around the breast.
  • Stage IIIC: The tumor has been found in 10 or more lymph nodes or has spread above or below the collarbone.
  • Stage IV: Breast cancer cells have spread far away from the breast and lymph nodes around it.
  • There is one more stage called stage 0 or carcinoma in situ. It means the initial stage where the cancerous cells are confined to their origin and have not acquired the invasive character yet.

    The staging system most often used for breast cancer is the TNM system of the American Joint Committee on Cancer . In this, breast cancer staging may be of two types.

  • Pathological staging: Based on what is found during surgery to remove breast tissue and lymph nodes.
  • Treatment For Stage 3 Breast Cancer

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    for stage 3 breast cancer may include the following, depending on the type of cancer and other factors:

    • chemotherapy

    stage 4 breast cancer , also called metastatic breast cancer, has cancer that has spread to nearby lymph nodes and also more distant lymph nodes and other organs in the body.

    Stage 4 breast cancer is the most advanced stage. Stage 4 breast cancer also may be breast cancer that returned to affect other parts of the body. Cancer that has returned in other parts of the body is called recurrent metastatic breast cancer

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    How Much Do Anastrozole And Exemestane Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer

    Studies have shown that both anastrozole and exemestane can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.

    In one large study, taking anastrozole for five years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 53 percent. In another study, taking exemestane for three years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 65 percent.

    The most common side effects seen with anastrazole and exemestane are joint pains, decreased bone density, and symptoms of menopause .

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2018.


    Does Breast Cancer Affect Women Of All Races Equally

    All women, especially as they age, are at some risk for developing breast cancer. The risks for breast cancer in general arent evenly spread among ethnic groups, and the risk varies among ethnic groups for different types of breast cancer. Breast cancer mortality rates in the United States have declined by 40% since 1989, but disparities persist and are widening between non-Hispanic Black women and non-Hispanic white women.

    Statistics show that, overall, non-Hispanic white women have a slightly higher chance of developing breast cancer than women of any other race/ethnicity. The incidence rate for non-Hispanic Black women is almost as high.

    Non-Hispanic Black women in the U.S. have a 39% higher risk of dying from breast cancer at any age. They are twice as likely to get triple-negative breast cancer as white women. This type of cancer is especially aggressive and difficult to treat. However, it’s really among women with hormone positive disease where Black women have worse clinical outcomes despite comparable systemic therapy. Non-Hispanic Black women are less likely to receive standard treatments. Additionally, there is increasing data on discontinuation of adjuvant hormonal therapy by those who are poor and underinsured.

    In women under the age of 45, breast cancer is found more often in non-Hispanic Black women than in non-Hispanic white women.

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    What Are Breast Cancer Risk Factors How Do You Get Breast Cancer

    Some of the breast cancer risk factors can be modified while others cannot be influenced . It is important to discuss these risks with a health care provider when starting new therapies .

    Several risk factors are inconclusive , while in other areas, the risk is being even more clearly defined .

    The following are risk factors for breast cancer:

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    Understanding the 4 Stages of Cancer

    This should be discussed with your health care provider or treatment team as this information is frequently updated. Guidelines for testing may include

    • a personal history of breast cancer diagnosis at a young age, bilateral breast cancer, breast and ovarian cancer diagnosis, or a personal history of ovarian cancer
    • family history of breast cancer at a young age or ovarian cancer and a personal history of breast cancer
    • family member with bilateral breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both breast and ovarian cancer
    • relative with a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and
    • a male relative with breast cancer.

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    Cancer Spread In The Lymph Nodes

    Sometimes doctors aren’t sure if a cancer has spread to another part of the body or not. So they look for cancer cells in the lymph nodes near the cancer.

    Cancer cells in these nodes is a sign that the cancer has started to spread. This is often called having positive lymph nodes. It means that the cells have broken away from the original cancer and got trapped in the lymph nodes. But it isn’t always possible to tell if they have gone anywhere else.

    How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosed

    Inflammatory breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Often, there is no lump that can be felt during a physical exam or seen in a screening mammogram. In addition, most women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer have dense breast tissue, which makes cancer detection in a screening mammogram more difficult. Also, because inflammatory breast cancer is so aggressive, it can arise between scheduled screening mammograms and progress quickly. The symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer may be mistaken for those of mastitis, which is an infection of the breast, or another form of locally advanced breast cancer.

    To help prevent delays in diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment, an international panel of experts published guidelines on how doctors can diagnose and stage inflammatory breast cancer correctly. Their recommendations are summarized below.

    Minimum criteria for a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer include the following:

    • A rapid onset of erythema , edema , and a peau d’orange appearance and/or abnormal breast warmth, with or without a lump that can be felt.
    • The above-mentioned symptoms have been present for less than 6 months.
    • The erythema covers at least a third of the breast.
    • Initial biopsy samples from the affected breast show invasive carcinoma.

    Imaging and staging tests include the following:

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    Why Staging Is Important

    Staging is important because it helps your treatment team to know which treatments you need.

    Doctors may recommend a local treatment, such as surgery or radiotherapy if your cancer is just in one place. This could be enough to get rid of the cancer completely. A local treatment treats only an area of the body.

    But you might need treatment that circulates throughout the whole body if your cancer has spread. These are called systemic treatments and include:

    • chemotherapy

    You can read more about the different types of cancer treatment.

    Is It Possible To Prevent Breast Cancer

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    There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer. Reviewing the risk factors and modifying the ones that can be altered can help in decreasing the risk.

    Following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for early detection can help early detection and treatment.

    There are some subgroups of women that should consider additional preventive measures.

    Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should be evaluated by genetic testing. This should be discussed with a health care provider and be preceded by a meeting with a genetic counselor who can explain what the testing can and cannot tell and then help interpret the results after testing.

    Chemoprevention is the use of medications to reduce the risk of cancer. The two currently approved drugs for chemoprevention of breast cancer are tamoxifen and raloxifene , which also blocks the effect of estrogen on breast tissues. Their side effects and whether these medications are right for an individual need to be discussed with a health care provider.

    Aromatase inhibitors are medications that block the production of small amounts of estrogen usually produced in postmenopausal women. They are being used to prevent reoccurrence of breast cancer but are not approved at this time for breast cancer chemoprevention.

    For a small group of patients who have a very high risk of breast cancer, surgery to remove the breasts may be an option. Although this reduces the risk significantly, a small chance of developing cancer remains.

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    Does A Benign Breast Condition Mean That I Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer

    Benign breast conditions rarely increase your risk of breast cancer. Some women have biopsies that show a condition called hyperplasia . This condition increases your risk only slightly.

    When the biopsy shows hyperplasia and abnormal cells, which is a condition called atypical hyperplasia, your risk of breast cancer increases somewhat more. Atypical hyperplasia occurs in about 5% of benign breast biopsies.

    Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Grades

    Its important to understand the difference between the stage and the grade numbers assigned during a cancer diagnosis. The cancers stage refers to its size and how much it has spread. Grade is a measure of the cancerous cells appearance and predicted tendency to spread.

    Specifically, grade refers to how similar or different your cancer cells are to a normal cell. This grade will be noted after your cancer cells have been examined under a microscope. This will require a biopsy. Youll probably see an assigned grade of 1, 2, or 3.

    The lowest grade 1 refers to cancer cells that resemble normal breast cells, are slow-growing, and least likely to spread. Grade 2 cells look less like normal cells and are growing a bit faster. Grade 3 cells look much different and will likely grow and spread the fastest.

    The grade number assigned to your cancer will help your doctor decide on the best course of treatment for you and gauge your prognosis.

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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.

    Why Were New Measures Added To The Staging System

    Signs of Breast Cancer

    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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    Types Of Breast Cancer

    There are several types of breast cancer, and theyre broken into two main categories: invasive and noninvasive, or in situ.

    While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.

    These two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include:

    • Ductal carcinoma in situ. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and havent invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
    • Lobular carcinoma in situ. Lobular carcinoma in situ is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells havent invaded the surrounding tissue.
    • Invasive ductal carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breasts milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
    • Invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive lobular carcinoma first develops in your breasts lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.

    Other, less common types of breast cancer include:

    The type of cancer you have determines your treatment options, as well as your likely long-term outcome.

    1 and 5 percent of all breast cancer cases.


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