What Are The Diagnosis and Staging Of Breast Cancer?

Stages of breast cancer

After the appropriate tests are complete, the cancer can be assigned a stage from 0 to IV. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer, and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

Stage 0 (carcinoma in situ)

There are 2 types of breast cancer in situ:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast.
  • Paget’s disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the nipple only.

Stage I

Stage I is usually diagnosed when the tumor is smaller than 2 centimeters, although this can vary according to other characteristics of the cancer. Some cancer cells may have spread to the closest lymph nodes to the breast, which are located in the armpits.

Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB. Stage IB is more advanced.

Stage II

Stage II breast cancers are typically those in which the tumor is still smaller in size – between 2 and 5 centimeters – but the cancer has spread to farther lymph nodes, such as those near the breastbone. Some tumors that are larger than 5 centimeters will be diagnosed as stage II if the cancer has not spread to any lymph nodes.

Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB. Stage IIB is more advanced.

Stage III

In patients with stage III breast cancer, the tumor is often larger than 5 centimeters. The cancer may have spread to 4 to 9 lymph nodes in the armpits, to lymph nodes near the breast bone, and to lymph nodes above and below the collarbone. Stage III breast cancer can also spread to the chest wall and/or to the skin of the breast. Cancer that spreads to the skin may be inflammatory breast cancer.

Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. Stage IIIC is the most advanced.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *