Breast Cancer (Facts, Stages) (cont.)
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.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
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?
- Screening for breast cancer
- Definitive diagnosis
- Specialized breast cancer testing
- What are the stages of breast cancer?
- What is the treatment for breast cancer?
- Surgery for breast cancer
- Radiation for breast cancer
- Hormone therapy for breast cancer
- Chemotherapy for breast cancer
- Targeted therapy for breast cancer
- Breast cancer treatment by stage
- 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 easiest to treat, while stages II and III represent advancing cancer, with stage IV representing breast cancer cells that have metastasized to distant organs like the bones, lungs, or brain and often form tumors.
What is the treatment for breast cancer?
Treatment for breast cancer is individualized and is based upon many factors. A woman's health-care team will help her make the choice that is best for her. In general, treatment decisions typically depend upon many factors, including the following:
- The type of cancer that is present
- The stage of the tumor (the extent of spread at the time of diagnosis)
- 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 analysis
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