If you are a breast cancer patient at MedStar Harbor Hospital, rest assured that you are in the hands of the most skilled and compassionate cancer doctors. From oncology nurses to surgeons, your healthcare team believes in treating the whole person, not just the disease, and will support you with the compassion you deserve and the excellence you expect every step of the way.
Breast Cancer Staging
Not every type of breast cancer is the same鈥攕ome are more common than others and some could be a combination of cancers. But once you've been diagnosed聽through聽a biopsy鈥攜our physician will examine the specifics of your breast tumor and decide the best way to treat it. Staging is an important part of the process that guides treatment options; it shows the extent of your cancer, the size of any tumors, and the severity of the disease.
The stages of breast cancer are as follows:
- Stage 0: Early stage breast cancer is called noninvasive cancer鈥攖he cancer cells have developed, but are confined to the breast ducts, without invading surrounding tissue. This stage of cancer generally does not present with any symptoms and is most often detected on a mammogram and confirmed with a biopsy.
- Stage I: The breast tumor is invasive, about the size of a quarter, but has not spread beyond the breast.
- Stage II: The breast tumor is one to two inches and may or may not have spread to the under-arm (axillary) lymph nodes. Cancers of this stage sometimes appear only in those lymph nodes and not in the breast at all.
- Stage III: The cancer is one to two inches and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or is larger than two inches and has not yet spread.
- Stage IV: The cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bones, lung, and liver.
Read more about different types of breast cancer here.