What Are The Diagnosis and Staging Of Breast Cancer?

Human epidermal growth factor type 2 (HER2/neu) receptor test

HER2 is a gene in some breast cancer cells.  This laboratory test measures how much HER2 a cell has. Cancers with HER2 may grow more quickly and are more likely to spread to other parts of the body.  There are specific drugs that target HER2 to help shut these tumors down.

Multigene tests

These tests study samples of tissue to look at the activity of many genes at the same time, and may help predict whether cancer will spread to other parts of the body or recur.

Some multigene tests help predict whether stage I or stage II breast cancer that is estrogen receptor positive will spread to other parts of the body. If the risk of the cancer spreading is high, chemotherapy may be given to lower the risk.

How is breast cancer staged?

After a patient has been diagnosed with breast cancer, physicians conduct tests to find out if the cancer has spread within the breast or metastasized to other parts of the body. The cancer will be assigned a “stage” based on whether or how far the cancer has spread.

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