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Types & Stages

 
Types & Stages

Chapter: 5 - Types & Stages

Subchapter: 4 - Stage 3

Stage 3 invasive breast cancer includes various types of cancer. It is primarily based on the location and number of lymph nodes to which the cancer has spread, but it can also depend on the size of the tumor and if the chest wall or skin have been affected.

Stage 3A

Stage 3A is when the tumor is less than 2cm (0.8in) and the cancer has spread to connecting axillary (underarm) lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone. Stage 3A can also mean that the tumor is larger than 5cm (2in) and the cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes that may be connected or lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage 3B

At Stage 3B the tumor can be any size and the cancer has either spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast or to connecting axillary (underarm) lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage 3C

In Stage 3C the tumor may be any size and is affecting the chest wall and/or skin of the breast. It has also spread to the lymph nodes near the collarbone.

Stage 3C breast cancer is divided into two types: operable and inoperable. Operable Stage 3C means that cancer has spread to ten or more axillary lymph nodes or that it has been found in lymph nodes below the collarbone. Cancer is considered inoperable Stage 3C when it has spread to lymph nodes above the collarbone.

Related Questions

  • Tom Schink Profile

    My mom just got diagnosed with breast cancer (early Stage 2) and is extremely worried that she will lose her job. First, what's the likelihood of that and second, how can I try to calm this fear?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Tom, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. There are laws to protect your Mom so she won't lose her job. Tell her to go to her human resources dept. at work and file FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) papers. Her Dr. will have to fill out his part of the paperwork. This will protect her when she has...

      more

      Hi Tom, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. There are laws to protect your Mom so she won't lose her job. Tell her to go to her human resources dept. at work and file FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) papers. Her Dr. will have to fill out his part of the paperwork. This will protect her when she has to take off work for treatment. She should also inquire about any disability benefits her employer might offer. Best wishes to you and your Mom

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I agree with Diana. It's definitely against the law to fire someone if she has cancer.

      Keep in mind, she might be scared in general and just not voicing it because it's really hard to. I worried a lot about missing work, when really, I was scared I was going to die. There are probably ...

      more

      I agree with Diana. It's definitely against the law to fire someone if she has cancer.

      Keep in mind, she might be scared in general and just not voicing it because it's really hard to. I worried a lot about missing work, when really, I was scared I was going to die. There are probably deeper fears under this one about work. Not that you need to pry them outta her, but remind her she needs to take care of herself, that you're there to listen, and that you'll take her to anyone else she wants to talk to, including a support group.
      Best wishes.

      Comment
  • Sandra Dakin Profile

    How do they diagnose a stage?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Blair Jenkins Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Look under Learn about breast cancer at the top of the page - i just watched the video's the other day and the information seemed really thorough - there is a section on staging.

      1 comment
  • Cindy Morgan Cochran Profile

    Is stage 4 considered really bad?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Cindy,

      All cancers are staged. The Stages are 1 through 4, with 4 being the most involved. The treatment for Stage 4 is complex and can last a lot longer than treatment for Stages 1 through 3.

      You don't indicate whether you are the patient. It doesn't matter. The first thing I tell...

      more

      Hi Cindy,

      All cancers are staged. The Stages are 1 through 4, with 4 being the most involved. The treatment for Stage 4 is complex and can last a lot longer than treatment for Stages 1 through 3.

      You don't indicate whether you are the patient. It doesn't matter. The first thing I tell anyone who is diagnosed with cancer is, don't go to the internet. There is a lot of misinformation out there and you want to get a true, accurate diagnosis, treatment plan, and if you want, a prognosis. The best person to do that is your doctor.

      With Stage 4 cancer, you might want to seriously consider getting additional opinion(s). There are a number of hospitals in the U.S. that are considered "the best" for cancer treatment. Two of them are M.D. Anderson in Houston, and Sloan Kettering in New York.
      Your doctor should be able to recommend physicians at those hospitals if you want a second opinion.

      Yes, Stage 4 is very serious. I hope that others who are or have been Stage 4 patients will chime in here and tell you their experience(s). If you are the patient, best of luck to you.

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I have a friend who was stage 4 ( mets in her lung) and she is 7 years cancer free!

      Comment
  • carol hobday Profile

    My 33 year old daughter was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She was told it was LEVEL 3. When she met with the surgeon today, she was told that the level has to do with how fast the tumor is growing. Is Level 3 the same as Stage 3?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It sounds as if the level 3 and grade 3 are the same. It is correct in that it indicates how fast or how aggressive the cells are.

      Stage is different and it is an indication of how far along the disease has progressed. Within the stage there are levels A, B, and sometimes C. I was a Stage...

      more

      It sounds as if the level 3 and grade 3 are the same. It is correct in that it indicates how fast or how aggressive the cells are.

      Stage is different and it is an indication of how far along the disease has progressed. Within the stage there are levels A, B, and sometimes C. I was a Stage 2-A, and it went to 2B after my surgery. My grade was 2/3 which meant it was on the aggressive side of cell types. There are also different types of breast cancer, the most common is IDC.
      Please read the information this site has to offer. You can always ask us, we are not doctor's but we can share our personal experience with you or with your daughter. .

      Everybody's treatment protocols are different. It is no longer "one size fits all". Treatments are tailored for what type of cancer cells are found. Usually, it will be 2 to 3 different treatments and or a combo of all. Surgery, Chemotherapy, and radiation. Sadly, breast cancer is so common but the treatments have come a long way. Survival rates have gone up too, thankfully. It's not easy but it is done all the time. Please go with your daughter to her consultation appointment... might not be bad to take a 3rd person along too. So much information is given and your daughter will probably be in shock just from hearing she has breast cancer. Hang in there, your daughter is lucky to have you standing by her side. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      There is also grades could be grade 3? Did she have a biopsy ? And information should on path report ask dr for copy and to explain.

      Comment

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