Breast Cancer (Facts, Stages) (cont.)
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Breast cancer facts
- What is breast cancer?
- What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
- What causes breast cancer?
- What are the different types of breast cancer?
- What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
- How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Definitive diagnosis
- Specialized testing
- What are the stages of breast cancer?
- What is the treatment for breast cancer?
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
- What are the survival rates and prognosis for breast cancer?
- What research is being performed on breast cancer?
- Can breast cancer be prevented?
- Breast Cancer FAQs
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
What are the stages of breast cancer?
Staging of a cancer refers to the determination of how far the tumor has spread at the time of diagnosis. Staging helps determine a woman's treatment plan. Staging is determined by a variety of methods including results from surgical procedures, lymph node biopsy, and imaging tests.
Cancer in situ (DCIS or LCIS) is referred to as stage 0, because the tumor cells have not even begun to spread outside the ducts or lobules into the adjacent breast tissue. Invasive breast cancers are stages along a scale of I to IV, with stage I being the earliest stage and stage IV representing tumors that have metastasized to distant organs like the bones, lungs, or brain.
What is the treatment for breast cancer?
Treatment for breast cancer is individualized and is based upon many factors. Your health care team will help you make the choice that is best for you. In general, treatment decisions typically depend upon many factors, including the following:
- The type of cancer that is present
- The stage of the tumor
- Whether or not the tumor expresses ER, PR, and/or HER2
- A woman's age (whether or not she has had menopause) and overall health
- A woman's preferences
- The results of specialized testing performed on the tumor, such as gene expression
Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. A woman may also elect to participate in a clinical trial or newer treatments.
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