Many people view all the breast cancer stages as if they were the same, but this is not the case. Each stage is different and will be treated differently by the doctor, so patients and their loved ones should treat the stages differently as well.
Doctors categorize breast cancer into 5 stages, starting with stage 0.
In stage 0 of breast cancer, abnormal cells have been found in the milk ducts of the breast, but they have not become cancerous or have not been confirmed to be cancerous.
In stage 1, the abnormal cells in the breast have been determined to be cancerous. The tumor has spread to about an inch in diameter. It may have broken through the wall of the milk ducts as well, but has not spread as far as the lymph nodes. At stage 1 and through the rest of the breast cancer stages, the cancer is considered invasive
In order to move to stage 2 of breast cancer, one of three things has to happen. Either the tumor remains about 1 inch in diameter but moves to the lymph nodes under the arm, the tumor has grown to 2 inches and is beginning to spread towards the lymph nodes, or the tumor is larger than 2 inches in diameter and has not spread yet. Stage 2 is the last of the early stages of breast cancer.
During stage 3 of breast cancer, the tumor has exceeded 2 inches in diameter and has spread under the arms to the lymph nodes. Sometimes the cancer also spreads to the breast tissue during this stage. Inflammatory breast cancer is also considered stage 3, no matter how small the tumor is. Stage 3 breast cancer is considered advanced.
Breast cancer stage 4 is also known as metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body through the lymph nodes. The most common places for the cancer to spread are the bones and liver. The brain and lungs are slightly less common. In stage 4, breast cancer is considered to be late.
Breast cancer can be a difficult battle, but you do not have to fight it alone.
If you are battling with any of the 5 stages of breast cancer, Cancer Fighting Strategies would like to help you by providing natural ways to fight your cancer and make your cancer treatments more effective.
CancerFightingStrategies.com will help you and your doctor fight your battle with breast cancer.