Staging is the process of finding out how widespread the cancer is when it is found.
– How big is the breast tumor? Has it grown into nearby areas?
– Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes? If so, how many are involved?
– Has the cancer spread to other parts of the body?
There are 5 stages of breast cancer:
Stage 0 & 1 (I)
These lowest numbered stages represent the earliest detection of breast cancer development.
At Stage 0 and 1, the cancer cells are confined to a very limited area.
Stage 0 has three possible types of “in situ carcinoma” of the breast tissue that are:
– DCIS – Ductal carcinoma in situ
– LCIS – Lobular carcinoma in situ
– Paget disease of the nipple
In stage 1, the tumor measures up to two centimeters and no lymph nodes are involved.
Stage 2 (II)
Stage 2 of breast cancer is still in the earlier stages, but there is an evidence that the cancer has begun to grow or spread.
In stage 2 the tumor measures between two to five centimeters, or the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm on the same side as the breast cancer.
Stage 3 (III)
Stage 3 of breast cancer is considered an advanced cancer with evidence of cancer invading surrounding tissues near the breast.
Stage 4 (IV)
Stage 4 of breast cancer indicates that cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body.
Recurrent breast cancer
In recurrent breast cancer, the disease will return in spite of the initial treatment.