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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

  • anonymous Profile

    How long does it take cancer medication to get into you body? Just wanted to see how long before I would experience any side effects!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Shannon Key Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had 3 chemotherapy meds, pretty harsh ones, took about 14 days for my hair to start coming out, nausea started on day 2.

      Comment
    • Amanda Metivier Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It depends in what kind of med and what side effects.

      Comment
  • Susan Green Profile

    My oncologist said that cancer could have spread even though I had a mastectomy with negative lymph nodes. Has anyone had this happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a...

      more

      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a possibility of a cancer spreading but you / we need more information. If you are unsure about additional treatment, I would advise you to get a second opinion. Susan, good luck to you. There are a ba-zillion of us alive and well post breast cancer!

      4 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale,...

      more

      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale, they will recommend further treatment. This way, if they are a low grade for recurrance, you won't be receiving unnecesary treatment. My brother-in-law had breast cancer and the onco DX and his cells were so low grade he didn't have to have any further treatment after his mastectomy. I did not have an onco test 4 years ago because I had one positive lymph node. (BUT...) My oncologist had just returned from a breast cancer symposium and there had been a completion of a study which benefited me. I only had to have 4 rounds of chemo because of the study because the study showed any more chemo would NOT benefit my type of breast cancer.....YAHOOOO! . Every single day, little advancements are made in diagnostics and treatments. The way it is going, treatments are becoming less drastic than they were in the past. This test you are waiting for does take longer than the other pathology for your tumor. This will be the final one in the line of all the diagnostics. You will move along to the next step. Susan, don't worry.... you will be ok. There are a ton of positive stories out here. Women are living long lives. I hope you keep in contact. We are a great big supportive group out here. We want to help other sisters who are going through this all too common battle. Again, please stay in touch. All the best to you, we all know what you are going through. Big healing hugs, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Stage 3c - is this serious without getting treated?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I have stage 3C as well. Yes, it is extremely important that you get treated! Stage 3C has extensive lymph node involvement. Our stage is one step from stage 4 and could easily turn into 4 if left untreated. Stage four is when breast cancer metastasizes (spreads) to other organs, such as bones,...

      more

      I have stage 3C as well. Yes, it is extremely important that you get treated! Stage 3C has extensive lymph node involvement. Our stage is one step from stage 4 and could easily turn into 4 if left untreated. Stage four is when breast cancer metastasizes (spreads) to other organs, such as bones, liver, brain, lungs, etc. I'm not trying to scare you but I want you to be one of the survivors! Please get treated. Some people say the treatments are worse than the disease. Not true in my opinion. Sure, the treatments don't make you feel good....BUT it doable! And you want to live!

      2 comments
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes it is very serious. I am a stage 3 also. Without treatment, the cancer will spread to other organs

      Comment
  • susan Richmond Profile

    Any of you ladies been diagnosed with stage 4 I DC ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Paula McLaughlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Susan--I had two different primary tumors in the same breast (with 8years in between). Both tumors were small and Stage I IDC. Last year, a CT scan showed that the cancer had spread to my AP

      Comment
    • Paula McLaughlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Oops--pressed a wrong button...anyhow, the second cancer spread to my spine so now, I have stage IV breast cancer metastases. It's very scary, of course, yet there are many effective treatments available. There's every reason to hope for quality of life and years to enjoy that life. I had a...

      more

      Oops--pressed a wrong button...anyhow, the second cancer spread to my spine so now, I have stage IV breast cancer metastases. It's very scary, of course, yet there are many effective treatments available. There's every reason to hope for quality of life and years to enjoy that life. I had a mastectomy on the right side and get monthly injections that have made the lesions in my spine become stable. Everyone's cancer is unique and requires u ique

      Comment

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