A breast cancer diagnosis raises many concerns, including what stage your cancer is. Millions of women face similar questions: According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women. One-third of new female malignancies are caused by it.
Your doctor will use diagnostic tests to stage your breast cancer after a diagnosis. Knowing your cancer stage helps you choose the best therapy and predict your survival chances.
Physicians utilize the AJCC TNM method to stage breast cancer. T stands for tumor size, N for lymph node involvement, and M for body spread. Each factor is described by numbers or letters following T, N, and M. Advanced cancer has higher numbers.
Stages Of Breast Cancer
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) classifies breast cancer stages as 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Expert advice and five-year relative survival rates at each stage are below.
Stage 0 Breast Cancer
Stage zero (0) breast cancer is also known as noninvasive or in situ cancer and occurs solely in the breast’s milk ducts (Tis, N0, M0).
In stage 0 of breast cancer, almost all patients survive (99%).
Stage 1 Breast Cancer
Lymph node metastasis (Stage IB): tumor size is more than 0.2 mm but less than 2 mm. A breast tumor is either absent or less than 20 millimeters in size (T0 or T1, N1mi, M0).
The five-year survival rate for women with stage I breast cancer ranges from 86% (Stage IB) to 99.6%. (Stage IA).
Stage 2 Breast Cancer
- Despite no breast tumor, the malignancy has progressed to 1–3 axillary (underarm) lymph nodes. Cancer has not spread (T0, N1, M0).
- A breast tumor of 20 mm or less and malignancy in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes (T1, N1, M0).
- The tumor is bigger than 20 mm but less than 50 mm and has not migrated to the axillary lymph nodes (T2, N0, M0).
- The tumor is 20–50 mm. 1–3 axillary lymph nodes contain it (T2, N1, M0).
- No axillary lymph nodes are detected in the 50-mm tumor (T3, N0, M0).
The five-year survival rate for stage 2 breast cancer varies from 86% to 99.9%, depending on whether or not the disease has