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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

  • kim sosa Profile

    I was diagnosed stage 2 possible stage 3A because of lymp node involvement. My doctor said I should live a full life but reading things on the internet tell me otherwise. Any reassurance will help.

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Oh Darlin!
      DO NOT READ THOSE HORROR STORIES! There are many, many, more successful outcomes than awful ones. Your eyes are going to be drawn to the horrible and it won't do you a bit of good except to depress you. "Been there.... done that." I would trust what your doctor says and put on...

      more

      Oh Darlin!
      DO NOT READ THOSE HORROR STORIES! There are many, many, more successful outcomes than awful ones. Your eyes are going to be drawn to the horrible and it won't do you a bit of good except to depress you. "Been there.... done that." I would trust what your doctor says and put on your big girl pink warrior panties and slap breast cancer in it's sassy face! You are always going to find the most horrendous stories and the most depressing statistics. You are not a statistic, you are a woman who was found to have breast cancer! Big deal.... HA! I also had breast cancer with node involvment, I am in my 5th year and just saw my oncologist last Wednesday. We "high-fived" each other in celebration of another clean check-up. He told me I was doing great and told me not to worry. PLEASE....Kim, your glass is really --half-full-- and heading for all the way full. You will get through your treatment and be ok. You have a bunch of women out there who are alive today because we have received great treatment and have the support of other women who have been treated before us. HANG IN THERE, GIRL! Healing hugs and courage. Do NOT listen to negative stories... there are many more positive ones out there. God's blessings, Sharon

      3 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Kim, the ladies are right. Don't back attention to the stats online. For one thing....they're not up to date. And another...every woman is different. Only God knows when our time is up. No one else. I was stage 3C when I began my treatment last May. When they went in to do my bilateral mastectomy...

      more

      Kim, the ladies are right. Don't back attention to the stats online. For one thing....they're not up to date. And another...every woman is different. Only God knows when our time is up. No one else. I was stage 3C when I began my treatment last May. When they went in to do my bilateral mastectomy I had 13 positive lymph nodes. In three of the lymph nodes...the cancer had broken outside the node. It had also spread to my chest wall. After almost a year of treatment...I'm cancer free!!! Take a look at my bio if you'd like. Replace that internet search for survival stats with "uplifting survivor stories"!!!! You can do this Kim!! Lots of hugs, Diana

      Comment
  • Susie Wilson Profile

    Stage IIB IDC. Triple negative. First chemo tomorrow. Terrified about side effects. What are the most common side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and...

      more

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and fatigue. They will give you something in your IV drip for nausea plus a prescription as well (usually its Zofran). Be sure to take it as directed BEFORE you get nauseous. My nausea was never bad enough to make my throw up. The meds are great...use them! My hair began to fall out on day 14 after my first chemo treatment. I decided to be proactive and had my boyfriend give me a buzz cut. My hair was very long and I didn't want to see it fall out in clumps. It was easier on me that way. And I must say...the fear and dread of losing my hair was harder than actually losing it. I need to do a new profile pic because I have about 2 inches of hair now. :).  It began growing back near my last treatment. Unfortunately I had to begin chemo again after my mastectomy but it's with 2 different drugs and I haven't lost what little hair I have this time.  :). During my last four rounds of Taxol my side effects were fatigue, changes in my nails, losing my eyelashes, eyebrows, etc., & some bone pain. I have had some neuropathy in my feet & hands but it was mild.  Taxol was easier for me.  You will probably be getting a shot of Neulasta periodically to boost you white blood count. This might give you some bone pain mostly in the upper body. If you'll take a Claritin a few hours before your Neaulasta shot and for a few days after...it will help decrease the pain. Don't ask me how it works...but it does! I have spoken to so many other omen that have sworn by it. About the only side effect that can't be controlled is the fatigue. Be kind to your body. Get lots of rest. Let others help you. Chemo isn't easy...but it's doable. If you can get in the mindset that chemo is not something that's being done to you...but think of it as an ally in your fight against cancer it will be easier to deal with. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers! Keep the faith & God bless you in your journey to wellness. 

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Susie! I was in your shoes a few moths ago, not knowing what to expect going into my first chemo treatment. I am hormone receptor , her2 -. What drugs will you be on? My first 4 treatments were a combo of adriamycin and cytoxan. The worst side effect that I had with those were nausea. It...

      more

      Hi Susie! I was in your shoes a few moths ago, not knowing what to expect going into my first chemo treatment. I am hormone receptor , her2 -. What drugs will you be on? My first 4 treatments were a combo of adriamycin and cytoxan. The worst side effect that I had with those were nausea. It would happen mainly on day 3, with treatment day being day 1. They also lower your immune system, so you may need to get a neulasta shot to boost your blood cell counts. That can make some people experience bone pain. My last 4 treatments were of taxol and I had slight neuropathy( numb fingers/toes) and achy body that lasted a few days after treatment. These side effects were greatly welcomed after the nausea from the other drugs. Also, if you have a port, ask for a script for lidocaine. It will numb the skin so when they stick you, you won't feel a thing! Good luck tomorrow, I wish you the best of luck!
      Tiffani

      1 comment
  • 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
    about 6 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
  • Sandra Dakin Profile

    How do they diagnose a stage?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 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

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