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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    What are some breast cancer drugs for stage 3?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I have stage 3c breast cancer. Oncologists can be different in their methods of treatment. Most later stages of breast cancer are treated with chemo first. I had 4 rounds of dose dense Adriamiacin/Cytoxin followed by 4 dose dense rounds of Taxol. They like to bring out the "big guns" for our...

      more

      I have stage 3c breast cancer. Oncologists can be different in their methods of treatment. Most later stages of breast cancer are treated with chemo first. I had 4 rounds of dose dense Adriamiacin/Cytoxin followed by 4 dose dense rounds of Taxol. They like to bring out the "big guns" for our stage. I was allowed to recover a few weeks after chemo. I had a new PET scan, and just had a bilateral mastectomy a few days ago. When I heal from my surgery, I will go through 6.5 weeks of radiation. Finally ....because of my being ER/PR ....I'll be put on a hormone blocker. Hopefully when I finish my radiation I'll be in remission. :) Good luck to you!

      6 comments
    • Kathy M Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I'm stage 3 also and I'm having the same course of treatment as Diana except I had my surgery before chemo.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default
  • Thumb avatar default

    What does it mean when it says 98% live a year with stage 2... when the charts say its a 98% expectancy for 8 years what does that actually mean???

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I agree with Sharon. When I was newly diagnosed I looked at the stats online. For one thing, they're very outdated. And for another, every woman is different. I stopped looking at stats and when I did choose to go online, I looked up survivor stories instead. :)

      2 comments
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I don't think the statistics are worth the paper they're written on, and I've never paid a lot of attention to them. (I've had breast cancer twice -- first time Stage 1B, this time Stage 2A). Generally, the survival stats go down the more advanced and aggressive the cancer is. In reality,...

      more

      I don't think the statistics are worth the paper they're written on, and I've never paid a lot of attention to them. (I've had breast cancer twice -- first time Stage 1B, this time Stage 2A). Generally, the survival stats go down the more advanced and aggressive the cancer is. In reality, treatments have become so advanced between my 1st bout in 2000 and my second in 2011 that I meet people in the chemo room who have had advanced cancer for several years or more. They come in for regular "boosts" of chemo and go on and live their lives.

      So don't jump to any conclusions based on statistics. Rely on your doctor and ask him any questions you may have.

      Comment
  • Connie Demarest Profile

    Is chemotherapy (except aromotase inhibitors) used for stage 1 lymph node negative breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi Connie,
      You have a lot happening this week. You will get through this. Sometimes the toughest part of treatment Is waiting. I believe you will have answers when you see your oncologist this week. Stay strong.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Yes one could have chemotherapy with a stage one diagnosis. I was stage one and had chemotherapy with no lymph node involvement due to the fact that my cancer was HER2 positive.

      Comment

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