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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

  • Angela Kroninger Profile

    My aunt recently got diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. What does this entail and how can I help her?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Nancy Collins Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2002

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or...

      more

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or bandanas. I hated a wig, but I was going through chemo and radiation during the hottest part of the summer, so I wore bandanas. Just be there for her, tell her if she needs anything to let you know. We need to be as independent as we can, so someone hovering over us (me and the people I've met along the way have felt this way) isn't good. If she wants to talk, listen, but let her bring up the topic of cancer. Try to treat her like you would before her diagnosis, which I know is hard. You feel so helpless, but you just being there for her, is the great gift you can give her. She'll go through a lot of emotions, which she may or may not show around you, but PLEASE never take it personal if she gets snappy. Not only are we scared, but our bodies are going through some major changes. She's lucky to have you!!!

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special...

      more

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special yogurt that had extra "healthy bacteria", because I had thrush from the chemo. Another friend who was too far away to visit, sent me a little figurine of one woman with her arm around another. Another friend from my church sent me a greeting card every week to cheer me. My pals from work brought me a gift basket with cozy pajamas, a fluffy throw, and some bath stuff. These are the things that mattered most to me when I was "going through the fire".

      You could make up some meals and freeze them for her. I could only eat soft food for a while so noodle casseroles or soups might be good. If she needs help with housework you could organize a cleaning bee. Most of all, just be there for her without smothering.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have stage one estrogen positive breast cancer. What is the prognosis?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Connie Herrick Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Your prognosis should be very good. What does your doctor say? Have you had any treatment yet? How old are you?

      I was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer last April. I was also estrogen positive, and the tumor was fast-growing. I had a lumpectomy, and the tumor size was 3 centimeters. I...

      more

      Your prognosis should be very good. What does your doctor say? Have you had any treatment yet? How old are you?

      I was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer last April. I was also estrogen positive, and the tumor was fast-growing. I had a lumpectomy, and the tumor size was 3 centimeters. I had 2 lymph nodes removed, and they were negative. So I had 4 chemo treatments, and 33 radiation treatments. Both were very tolerable. I am now on an estrogen-blocking pill that I will take for 5 years, since estrogen feeds breast cancer, this will help lessen my chances of it coming back. I plan to live to a ripe old age! I try to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise.

      Comment
    • Lori Murray Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi!
      I have/had estrogen positive also, from what I understand it is one of the very treatable forms. Mine is actually stage 4 since it went to a "tiny" area of my sternum which was radiated and now clear:)...my treatment is working very well and my scans have been clear since I started. I had...

      more

      Hi!
      I have/had estrogen positive also, from what I understand it is one of the very treatable forms. Mine is actually stage 4 since it went to a "tiny" area of my sternum which was radiated and now clear:)...my treatment is working very well and my scans have been clear since I started. I had my ovaries shut down with a lupron injection,eventually removed. I also take letrozole which stops any other estrogen that may be around. I am doing very well now, I think you have great hope...hang in there and try and take it step by step...it is a lot of information to process at once...Be well...xx

      Comment
  • Sara Palmer Profile

    My sister was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. We live in different states at the moment, but what can I do to help and support her through her treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would recommend sending lots of cards.
      A friend of mine gave me a small gift after every procedure. This was something nice to look forward to each time. Call her often, listen to her fears and worries. It is a rough road but she will remember the sweet touches.

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Tell her not to google triple negative. The info is outdated and scared me!!! I'm through 2/3 of my treatment and the little triple negative jerk is gone, chemo works well with it!

      Send her cards each week or more often and write personal messages that you love her, youre thinking of her, etc. ...

      more

      Tell her not to google triple negative. The info is outdated and scared me!!! I'm through 2/3 of my treatment and the little triple negative jerk is gone, chemo works well with it!

      Send her cards each week or more often and write personal messages that you love her, youre thinking of her, etc. also, little gifts help--like send her something each week or every 2 weeks or something. Comedy books (Tina fey's bossypants was funny, also the S*%! My dad says helped me when I couldn't sleep. Assuming she's having chemo, send her a few scarves and/or hats. Maybe a thin hat for sleeping.

      Gossip, jokes, all that helps too. Don't make every correspondence about cancer bc she wants to feel normal too.

      See if you can help set up a meal calendar among her friends/neighbors/colleagues. Cooked meals made a difference when I was too run down after chemo to cook.
      Best wishes

      1 comment
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 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

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