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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

  • Susan Green Profile

    Is anybody out there who has been diagnosed with stage 2, er pos, her2 neg, infiltrating cancer who has decided or not had to go through chemo and radiation with good results?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Jessica Fisher Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Stage 2 IDC er pr positive her2 neg bilateral mast followed by 8 months of chemo but no radiation due to the bilateral mast so far so good cancer free:)

      Comment
    • Kim Wallis Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had stage 2 ER & pr positive invasive. I did not have radiation because I chose to ha a bi lateral mastectomy and because I am her2 neg did not have chemo just 5 years of hormone treatment. I am happy with the result

      3 comments
  • Carly Zehner Profile

    My mother is going to start her 3-month treatment of TCH next week. Has anyone been through this treatment? If so, what where your side effects during treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • Rotem Adar Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Just confirming that by TCH you mean Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin. I just finished my chemo regimen in January. Everyone is different but I had food aversions, weight gain from the steroids, my hair fell out (though not completely, I never actually went bald, but I did shave it GI Jane...

      more

      Just confirming that by TCH you mean Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin. I just finished my chemo regimen in January. Everyone is different but I had food aversions, weight gain from the steroids, my hair fell out (though not completely, I never actually went bald, but I did shave it GI Jane style), and the worst side effect was from the Neulasta shot (white blood cell booster) shot I had to take the day after chemo. It causes flu like symptoms. Oh, a few other symptoms from the chemo was a lot of exhaustion and fatigue, and I'm not sure if this tied in to the fatigue but it hurt me too much to wear high heels. I'm sure it had to do with my body being so tired. Hope this helps!

      2 comments
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

    What is the difference between the grades and stages of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My...

      more

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My stage was was a 2B..... (a 2.3cm with 1 positive lymph node.) The grade is how agressive the cells are.... grade 1-relatively non-agressive, grade 2 - middle of the road. grade 3 more aggressive cells. Within the grade, there can be varying degrees of aggressiveness. You will also have a report on your cancer's sensitivety to hormones. It will be ER+ or - PR + or - and HER2 + or -
      Breast cancer is very individual to each person. You can have the same type of breast cancer as the next woman and that is where the similarities end. Your cells are unique to you. Your treatment will be developed because of the cells seen at your biopsy. You will wonder why your treatment is different from mine but it is because our breast cancer may be completely different on a cell level. It's confusing for sure. Each woman reaction to their treatments are all different too. Just as Jo says... bring every single itty bitty question to your interview. Best too, if you bring a friend who can either take really great notes or bring some kind of recorder with you. You are given a lot of information and you won't necessarily remember it all. We are always here for you as you go through your treatment. Hang in there.... there's a wonderful bunch of "sister's" out here to help. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
    • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      i have grade 3 breast cancer but i dont understand that, im scared it is growing everywhere else. what does that mean?

      11 comments
  • Shelley Zipp Profile

    I just found out I have triple negative breast cancer, a form of invasive ductal carcinoma - stage 1 1.3cmm tumor, very small, but still requires llumpectomy, chemo, then radiation. What's the recovery time after a lumpectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Has your doctor tested you for the BRCA gene mutation? If not, I would suggest doing that before moving forward with him/her. Triple negative breast cancer is most often associated with the BRCA gene mutation & if you happen to have it, you may be advised to do more than a lumpectomy. I'm no...

      more

      Has your doctor tested you for the BRCA gene mutation? If not, I would suggest doing that before moving forward with him/her. Triple negative breast cancer is most often associated with the BRCA gene mutation & if you happen to have it, you may be advised to do more than a lumpectomy. I'm no doctor...it's just a suggestion. I'd get a second opinion, anyway. :) Wishing you the best!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello - you know lumpectomies can vary enomormusly in size and location, as can the number and type of stitches required. All that as well as your general health and other complications such as infection means the recovery rate can vary significantly from person to person. I was discharged around...

      more

      Hello - you know lumpectomies can vary enomormusly in size and location, as can the number and type of stitches required. All that as well as your general health and other complications such as infection means the recovery rate can vary significantly from person to person. I was discharged around 16 hours after the operation. I had to stay overnight because of bad reaction to general anesthetic + I was a late in the day operation. I had about 57grams removed from my right inner upper quadrant and I had double stitching [underneath as well as on top]. It took about a week for the special bandages to fall off naturally. I was back doing 90 minute yoga class within a few days of the lumpectomy, so on one level it was a fast recovery BUT I needed some physiotherapy to restore my right arm mobility to about 95% of what it was - that was caused by the sentinel node biopsy though, not the lumpectomy. Many women I have spoken to say they experience more problems from the sentinel node biopsy rather than the lumpectomy. The lumpectomy is a fat removal essentially whereas the sentinel node biopsy is close to a lot of nerves and pathways and muscles so this is not unexpected.

      Comment

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