Breast cancer is a topic that affects a lot of people, especially women. According to BreastCancer.org, 12% of the United States will develop invasive breast cancer. Unfortunately, that means there is a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer which can affect your friends, family, or even yourself. The best way know more about your risk of breast cancer? Stay up to date on how breast cancer forms, develops, and how it can be cured.
Cancer is broken up into stages which are based on the following criteria: size of the lump, if it is invasive or noninvasive cancer, if it is located in the lymph nodes, and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Here’s a breakdown of the stages of breast cancer to ensure that you definitively know this disease.
Stage 0 and 1
This stage is pretty straight forward—the cancerous cells are not moving outside of the breast tissue. The cancer is stationary within the breast and is not spreading throughout the body. This is labeled as non-invasive breast cancer. This is the earliest detection of breast cancer and the stage during which you're most likely to have a full recovery.
This stage is labeled as invasive breast cancer and is broken into two sections—IA and IB. The difference between these two subsections is the size of the tumor and whether or not it has affected the lymph nodes. This stage is still in the early range of detection, however, the cancerous cells are showing signs of growing in size. Cancer still remains within the breast and hasn’t traveled to other parts of the body.
This stage is labeled as invasive breast cancer, as well. Cancer has begun to grow and affect nearby parts of your body, no longer remaining in the breast region. Usually, the lymph nodes or nearby muscles are the targets of growing cancer. This stage is also divided into subsections: 3A, 3B, and 3C. The distinction is simply the size of the tumor and whether cancer has affected the lymph nodes or surrounding tissues.
At this stage, the breast cancer has officially spread to other parts of the body such as the brain, bones, lungs, liver, etc. Unfortunately, at this stage, it is considered to be incurable. However, modern treatment is constantly advancing and patients have had their cancer respond to various types of treatment even at this stage.
Breast cancer is a serious disease which is why there is a huge push to spread awareness and make sure the public is informed. The key to preventing/battling breast cancer is being on top of your yearly mammograms and feeling for unusual lumps in your breasts. As you can see, breast cancer is time sensitive. If a patient waits too long to catch breast cancer, it can be too late. However, if they’re able to catch cancer in the early stages, they can take the necessary actions to stop it in its tracks. If you’re needing a mammogram, visit us at Advanced Imaging Centers. We would love to take care of your mammogram needs.