When breast cancer is first diagnosed, doctors will precisely locate the cancer, determine whether it has spread, and if so, find out where. To do this they use a process called breast cancer staging. Determining the breast cancer stage of a patient helps in crafting the best treatment option and in predicting how the cancer might progress. Breast cancer staging may also be used to evaluate eligibility for clinical trials that explore better methods of cancer treatment.
The specialists at Beaumont Cancer Institute will take time to explain fully a breast cancer diagnosis, staging of the disease and the available treatment options. The multidisciplinary team will evaluate all aspects of care to create a customized plan of treatment based on the patient’s unique medical and personal needs.
When breast cancer is diagnosed, tests will be done to find out if the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This is called staging, and is an important step toward planning a treatment program.
As defined by the National Cancer Institute, stages of breast cancer are:
|Carcinoma in situ||There are two types of breast cancer in situ. They are early cancers and account for about 15 to 20 percent of all breast cancers cases, including:
Patients with this condition have a 25 percent chance of developing breast cancer in either breast in the next 25 years.
|Stage I||Cancer is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) and has not spread outside the breast.|
Stage II is subdivided into stages IIA and IIB:
|Stage III||Stage III is subdivided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC.
|Stage IV||This stage is defined by either of the following:
|Inflammatory breast cancer||This is a rare type of cancer in which the breast looks as if it is inflamed because of its red appearance and warmth. Skin may show signs of ridges and wheals or it may have a pitted appearance.|
|Recurrent||In this stage, the cancer has come back (recurred) after treatment. It may come back in the breast, in the soft tissues of the chest (the chest wall), or in another part of the body.|
For an expedited and comprehensive evaluation, call Beaumont’s Comprehensive Breast Care Center today: 888-924-9460.
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