Cancer diagnosis plays a key role in deciding the plan of action. There are several diagnostic tests available which help determine the stage of cancer. This information plays a crucial part in the treatment that follows. Staging involves determining the location of cancer and ascertaining the growth and reach of the cancer cells. It is critical to seek appropriate breast cancer treatment in Pune or other cities.

The most prevalent staging system for breast cancer is the TNM system. There are 5 stages- stage 0, followed by stages I to IV. These stages are often addressed as the Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV.

Stage 0-

Stage 0 represents noninvasive breast cancers or precancers. It includes the most common form of noninvasive cancer, known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In this stage, there is no clear evidence of cancer or abnormal cells invading the healthy tissues.

Stage I (IA and IB)-

This stage depicts a very early stage of invasive cancer. The tumor cells usually spread to the normal surrounding breast tissue but are limited to a small area. Stage I is further divided into two subcategories- stage IA and IB. In stage IA, the tumor measures up to 20 millimeters, and there are no cancer cells detected in the lymph nodes. On the other hand, in stage IB, there may or may not be a tumor smaller than 20 millimeters, but there are small clusters of cancer cells in the lymph nodes.

Stage II (IIA and IIB)-

This phase describes that cancer in a confined region of the breast has grown larger. It indicates how many lymph nodes may contain harmful cancerous cells. This stage is also divided into two categories- stage IIA and stage IIB. In stage IIA, either there is no tumor , or there is a tumor of about 20 millimeters, and the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm. There can also be a scenario where cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. In stage IIB, a tumor of about 20-50 millimeters is identified, and cancer has usually reached one to three nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III (IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC)-

In this stage of breast cancer, the cancerous cells are further spread into the breast, and the tumor becomes larger in size as compared to the earlier stages.

Stage IIIA denotes that these cancerous cells have spread to four to nine nearby lymph nodes while there can be a tumor. On the other hand, there is a different scenario where a breast tumor larger than 50 millimeters may also be found and the cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes.

In stage IIIB, the tumor is generally spread to the chest wall behind the breast. Along with this, cancer may also have spread to the skin that causes swelling or inflammation. In case they pierce through the skin, it will result in an ulcerated wound. There is also a possibility that these cancerous cells may reach as many as nine underarm lymph nodes or nodes near the breastbone.

In stage IIIC, there may or may not be a tumor of any size in the breast. Either way, cancer spreads to one of the following places- 10 or more underarm lymph nodes, lymph nodes near the collarbone, and the skin.

Stage IV-

If cancer reaches stage IV, it means that cancerous cells have spread to other parts of the body. It is called distant metastasis. The harmful cells may have spread to regions such as the bones, liver, lungs, or brain.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is essential that you don’t lose your willpower and mental strength. Also, we advise you to consult and visit a breast cancer doctor in Pune or elsewhere regularly for rapid recovery.

Author's Bio: 

Cancer diagnosis plays a key role in deciding the plan of action. There are several diagnostic tests available which help determine the stage of cancer. This information plays a crucial part in the treatment that follows. Staging involves determining the location of cancer and ascertaining the growth and reach of the cancer cells. It is critical to seek appropriate breast cancer treatment in Pune or other cities.