Stages of Breast Cancer

Do you know what stage of breast cancer you have? Although learning where you fit in the scheme of breast cancer stages can feel like a jail term (“So now I guess I’m stuck at stage III”), this information is a key part of figuring out how you and your doctors will approach your treatment. The purpose of the staging system is to help organize the different factors and personality features of the cancer into categories, in order to:

  • best understand your prognosis (the most likely outcome of the disease)
  • guide treatment decisions
  • provide a common way to describe the extent of breast cancer for doctors and nurses all over the world, so that results of your treatment can be compared and understood.This stage is used to describe non-invasive breast cancer. There is no evidence of cancer cells breaking through to or invading neighboring normal tissue.

Stage I

This stage describes invasive breast cancer (cancer cells are breaking through to or invading neighboring normal tissue) in which

  • The tumor measures up to two centimeters, AND
  • No lymph nodes are involved.