What are the stages of breast cancer?
Stages of cancer progression:
One may hear certain words that are used for describing the different stages of breast cancer, which include local, regional, and distant. Local breast cancer term is used to describe cancer in the breast. Regional breast cancer indicates that the lymph nodes in the armpits have been affected as well. Distant breast cancer is spread to other parts of the body as well.
In medical terms, breast cancer is best categorized as Stage 0, Stage 1, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. Stage 0 is the nascent stage and is defined as non-invasive breast cancer. There are no signs of cancerous or non-cancerous abnormal cells found in any part of the body, including the breasts.
Stage I breast cancer
Stage I is the preliminary stage when cancer cells have started to grow inside the breasts but they have not spread out to any other part of the body. Typically, no lymph nodes are involved in this stage.
Stage II breast cancer
Stage II is that stage where no tumor is found, but cancer breaks out in the lymph nodes. In this case, the tumor usually measures 2 centimeters. The tumor can be larger than 2 centimeters but is definitely smaller than 5 centimeters.
Stage III breast cancer
Stage III is described as invasive breast cancer. The tumor measures more than 5 centimeters in this case. cancer is diagnosed in four to nine axillary lymph nodes situated near the breastbone.
Stage IV breast cancer
Stage IV is the fatal stage where cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body into other organs like brain, liver, lungs, skin and lymph nodes. The words ‘’metastatic’’ or ‘’advanced’’ are used to describe the Stage IV. Stage IV cancer may be the recurrence of previous breast cancer or it may be diagnosed for the first time.