Breast cancer has a number of stages.
- The early stage, also known as stage 0 breast cancer is when the problem is extremely local, with its tentacles only kept till the breasts with no evidence of it being spread all the way to the lymph nodes.
- The next stage is Stage 1. In this stage, the cancer is less than 2 centimetres (or exactly that) in size and really hasn’t spread anywhere. It’s concentrated to a particular area of the breast.
- Next we come to Stage 2A. In this stage the breast cancer is pretty much a small tumor with a little bit of lymph node work. It is smaller than two centimetres at times but usually is as big as 5.
- After this is the Stage 3 A breast cancer. This an advanced stage of breast cancer but is only concentrated to the local area. It is larger than 5 centimetres and has spread to the lymph nodes located near the breastbone or under the arm. It can also be a tumor that is surrounding or sticking to another tissue.
- Stage 3B breast cancer comes next: In this stage the tumor has just started to or has already spread all the way across to the chest wall or the skin.
- Stage 3 C breast cancer can have a tumor of varying sizes but the one thing is there that this tumor has spread extensively and involves some kind of invasion from the lymph node.
- Stage 4. Last but not the least is the stage 4 breast cancer. It is a tumor, no matter how big or small it is. It has already spread far away from the breast to places like the lungs, the bones, the brain, the liver and lymph nodes quite away from the breasts. The breast cancer treatment cost in india becomes a little high at this stage because the treatment required is extensive.
How is the cancer diagnosed?
If you want your cancer to get diagnosed in the earlier stages it is extremely important that you keep showing a doctor bi-annually. Cancer can stem out from something as small as a blister. However when it comes to breast cancer nothing is really visible so you have to rely on your sense of touch. During your physical examination, the doctor will do an analysis of the family history, perform a breast examination and also go for an ultrasound of the breasts. A mammogram can also be done and if certain women look like they’re at the maximum risk for a breast cancer, an MRI will be ordered for them.
If the results that come out of these tests are not sufficient enough to prove to the doctor that everything is alright, he may request you to go through a biopsy to get a proper sample of the breast tissue and mass.
After the removal of the sample, it is then sent to the lab for testing. Here the pathologist looks for abnormal growth patterns and cell shapes.