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Types & Stages

 
Types & Stages

Chapter: 5 - Types & Stages

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

We will now cover the five stages of breast cancer and what to expect from each stage.

Cancer is assessed by stages ranging from 0-4; each stage represents a progression of the cancer. As the complexity of the cancer intensifies, so does the treatment required to fight it. Breast cancer is assigned to a stage based on where it began in the breast and how much of the breast and other parts of the body are affected by it.

Remember, the stage of cancer is separate from the tumor grade, which we discussed in Subchapter 3.2.

We will also review the types of cancer. First, covering the more common types of breast cancer, but also the unusual diagnoses like triple negative breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, and cancer during pregnancy.

Your responsibility, as discussed in Chapter 4, is to develop a support team, of family or friends, that will comfort and encourage you in this time.

Related Questions

  • Mona Assadi Profile

    I'm 26 and I have been diagnosed with stage 2. Do I need a mastectomy??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am 29 and based on the Size of the lump during ultrasound am borderline stage 1-2. I am doing 8 rounds of chemo before surgery in hopes of shrinking the tumor. Then only a lumpectomy will be needed. There are many different factors to consider though. Genetic testing to see if you are brca1 or...

      more

      I am 29 and based on the Size of the lump during ultrasound am borderline stage 1-2. I am doing 8 rounds of chemo before surgery in hopes of shrinking the tumor. Then only a lumpectomy will be needed. There are many different factors to consider though. Genetic testing to see if you are brca1 or brca2 positive, if there is more than one tumor, etc. Your doctor would be able to tell you if chemo first would be a good option for you. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me. I am more than willing to to help!

      Comment
    • Joan Rosov Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I have had breast cancer twice. Both times I had genetic testing The results really helped in the decision process.

      Comment
  • Jackie Valencia Profile

    How long can you live with stage 4 breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Dear Jackie,

      If you go to Adjuvant! Online - make sure you have obtained a copy of your histopathology report and have it beside you - register on the site - anyone can register as a Dr - its not illegal to do so - and get your log on - confirm your log on via your email - then log into...

      more

      Dear Jackie,

      If you go to Adjuvant! Online - make sure you have obtained a copy of your histopathology report and have it beside you - register on the site - anyone can register as a Dr - its not illegal to do so - and get your log on - confirm your log on via your email - then log into Adjuvant! Online again, put in your log on name and password, click on breast cancer, input all your stats from your histopathology report and hey presto, up comes the survival stats for your particular situation. You can play with the reporting data by selecting different treatments to see what stats come up - which ones extend life and those that don't. You can also present your stats in different ways eg., how long the disease statistically reduces ones overall lifespan, how long statistically as breast cancer specific free, and so on. I found Adjuvant! Online the most useful tool especially as many on line forums on this issue tend to present [to my mind] overly optimistic anecdotes because of course only those who survive are here to post. Similarly I found most health care professionals prefer to turn themselves inside out than give a straight forward answer. Their usual line is everyone is different/what would be know/it depends - then they always tell you some uplifting anecdote about someone who is still going after 23 years! That of course is true - as far as it goes - but the reality is the survival stats are well established and while there can be enormous variation, some patients such as myself find it enormously informative and empowering to know exactly what the stats say is the normal or average course of my disease. Patients right to know is not , however, given the respect legally,ethically and morally entitled due. If you are over 18 and not so mentally ill you cannot make rational decisions for yourself, if you want to know this information, then you are entitled to it.

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Jackie, I'm stage IIIc and have spoken to several stage IV ladies that have been living with cancer for years. There's an awesome discussion group on breastcancer.org that has helped me a great deal. It's nice to be able to share your story with someone that's been in your shoes. The ladies...

      more

      Hi Jackie, I'm stage IIIc and have spoken to several stage IV ladies that have been living with cancer for years. There's an awesome discussion group on breastcancer.org that has helped me a great deal. It's nice to be able to share your story with someone that's been in your shoes. The ladies there are awesome.

      2 comments
  • Sandra Allen Profile

    i am having a double mastectomy in jan do you have depression afterwards

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Sandra,
      Unless you have a problem with clinical depression it usually doesn't come along with the territory. You could have some problems feeling --down-- because it is kind of a big deal both physically and a bit mentally. Not knowing how important body image is to each and every woman, the...

      more

      Sandra,
      Unless you have a problem with clinical depression it usually doesn't come along with the territory. You could have some problems feeling --down-- because it is kind of a big deal both physically and a bit mentally. Not knowing how important body image is to each and every woman, the realization of the loss of a breast means different things to different women. It is difficult to predict how you will feel. My breasts are small and I didn't particularly have any attachment to them in regards to body image. I just wanted to get rid of the breast cancer and was very happy to get rid of the body part that contained it.
      I chose not to have reconstruction and have done well with a prosthesis. I was 59 when diagnosed and made this decision. It is different if women are diagnosed in their 20's, 30's, 40's etc. A large percentage of them have reconstruction which sounds like it is a long, procedure and not very comfortable. Anyway.... as for depression, if you tend to get depressed or feel down, it may be a problem but I can't say it is as a matter of fact. Hang in there darlin' you are getting rid of a lousy sneaky disease and that IS the most important thing. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Well said Sharon, as usual. I had a double mastectomy about a year ago and I had very large breasts, it was a bit sad to say goodbye to them as they have been responsible for many free drinks in my life haha. But overall I am so glad I did it. I am going through reconstruction at the moment and...

      more

      Well said Sharon, as usual. I had a double mastectomy about a year ago and I had very large breasts, it was a bit sad to say goodbye to them as they have been responsible for many free drinks in my life haha. But overall I am so glad I did it. I am going through reconstruction at the moment and you are right Sharon it is long and uncomfortable but I would do it all again. The part of the mastectomy that I found difficult was the recovery and not being to do the things I was used to doing like driving and showering on my own. Good luck to you Sandra, you will be fine and like Sharon said you are getting rid of an awful illness and it is the best way to do it. Let us know are you going as you progress. Cheers

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is stage 4 fatal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 9 years 2 answers
    • Debbir Calvert Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      When I had breast cancer 12 years ago, a friend of mine had stage 4 breast cancer. It has been 12 years, and she is doing just fine. Faith and hope are the two words to remember. 

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      how long do stage 4 caner patients live

      Comment

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