Breast Cancer Stages

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer that affects women.  Over the past few decades, leaps and bounds have been made in the advancement of breast cancer treatment and now there is a very high success rate of women who have been cured from breast cancer.  The severity of breast cancer usually depends upon what stage of the disease that the cancer is found.  There are 4 stages of breast cancer, some stages having varying levels of severity.

Stage 0 of breast cancer is used to describe a stage of breast cancer in which there is not any evidence of the breast cancer cells breaking out beyond the place of the breast in which the cancer started and has not invaded any neighboring tissue.

Stage I of breast cancer can be described as invasive cancer in which the cancer cells have moved to other parts of the breast.  At this stage the tumor can measure up to two centimeters but the lymph nodes of the breast have not yet been affected.

Stage II of breast cancer is when the tumor is at least 2 centimeters in diameter but no more than five centimeters.  At this point cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.  While the lymph nodes are now affected, they have not yet stuck together or affected the surrounding tissue.

Stage III of breast cancer can actually be divided into two stages commonly referred to Stage IIIA and Stage IIIB.  Stage IIIA is a form of invasive cancer in which the tumor is over 5 centimeters and there is a lot of involvement with the lymph nodes which have begun to stick together and affect the surrounding tissue.  Stage IIIB is differs slightly and refers to invasive breast cancer in which the breast cancer tumor has begun to spread to the chest wall, skin, or mammary lymph nodes.

The final stage of breast cancer is when the invasive breast cancer has spread beyond the underarm, breast and mammary lymph nodes and may have spread to other body parts such as the lungs, liver, bone, or even the brain.

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The American Cancer Society was formed in 1913 by a team of 15 doctors and has grown, evolved, and helped countless people that have been diagnosed with cancer to the society we know today.  The American Cancer Society is the place that you should go to for any and all information on cancer.  They have a call center – the National Cancer Information Center - that is...

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