Knowing the breast cancer stage and grade will help your treatment team decide what treatment options are best for you.
What are the stages of breast cancer?
The breast cancer stage tells you the cancer's size and whether it has spread to other parts of your body.
Based on your test results, the treatment team will give the cancer a stage between 0 to 4.
In general, the higher the number, the more the breast cancer has spread in your body.
|Stage 0||Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)||A non-invasive pre-cancerous change|
|Stage 1||The cancer is only found in your breast with no or only microscopic involvement of lymph nodes in your armpit.||Early breast cancer|
|Stage 2||The cancer is larger than in stage 1 and/or is found in just a few nearby lymph nodes.||Early breast cancer|
|Stage 3||The cancer is larger than in stage 2, or involves the skin of the breast or the chest wall, or is a type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, and/or has spread from the breast to more than just a few lymph nodes close to the breast.||Locally advanced breast cancer|
|Stage 4||The cancer has spread to other parts of your body.||Advanced breast cancer|
What are the grades of breast cancer?
The grade of the cancer describes what the cancer cells look like compared to normal cells.
This tells the treatment team how quickly the cancer is growing and the risk that it may spread to other parts of your body.
|Usually slow-growing, the cancer cells and structures look more like normal breast
|Intermediate growth rate, the cancer has fewer features of normal breast tissue|
|fast-growing the cancer cells look very different from normal breast cells|
Prognosis for breast cancer
The prognosis is the likely outcome of a disease.
If the test results show breast cancer, you may wish to speak with your treatment team about the prognosis.
The doctors will look at the type and stage of the cancer as well as your age and general health to give a prognosis, but no doctor can predict the exact outcome for you.
Breast cancer forms in the cells of the breast tissue. It can occur in women and, rarely, in men.
Breast cancer is diagnosed using a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI scan and biopsy.
We've put together a list of questions you may wish to ask your treatment team.
Breast cancer can be treated by surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and ta…