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Understanding breast cancer and its stages

By Julia Oyefunke Fortune (The Cancer FIGHTER)

0 Stage:
As its number implies this is the earliest stage of breast cancer. Usually there is no lump. Your doctor may call this ‘non-invasive’ cancer or DCIS (Ducal Carcinoma in Situ) or LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in Situ.)

I Stage:
This stage is noted when cancer is only in the breast and is less than one inch diameter.

IIA Stage:
Cancer is found in lymph nodes or under the arm but not in the breast and is smaller than one inch OR it is about one to two inches but not found in lymph nodes or under the arm.

IIB Stage:
In this stage the cancer is found in the lymph nodes/under the arm and is one to two inches OR is measures more than two inches and cannot be found elsewhere such as the lymph nodes.

IIIA Stage:
Cancer is found in connected lymph nodes under the arm OR cancer is two inches or less as well as under the arm in lymph nodes OR it is larger than two inches and in lymph nodes under the arm.

IIIB Stage:
Th is cancer is invasive, is of any size, and has spread to either chest wall, skin of breast, and/or lymph nodes.

IIIC Stage:
Another invasive cancer with any sized tumor (or no tumor) that may be found also in chest wall, breast skin and/or lymph nodes.

IV Stage:
Invasive cancer that is spread to body organs such as lungs, liver, brain, or bone.

Understanding More about the Stages of Cancer
1. In this stage the cancer is small and contained within the original site.
2. Tumor is greater in size than in Stage 1 but generally is not spread expect possibly into lymph nodes nearby original tumor site.
3. Cancer possibly spread to surrounding areas, larger in size than other stages (1 & 2) and may be in lymph nodes.
4. The cancer is now found in other parts of the body as well as its point of origin.

In order to properly assess your options, you need to understand exactly what you are dealing with when it comes to cancer. No doubt the number of cancerous cells and the rate at which they are spreading

will be determining factors in how you may choose to treat it. In some cases of breast cancer for example, the cancer may have reached a point where a mastectomy is the best and possibly only option, but before you make any decision, you need to fi rst educate yourself on what you are dealing with – get a second opinion.

I also recommend getting opinions from both traditional medical doctors as well alternative doctors who may be able to provide you with options you may not otherwise be made aware of.

The point here is that you need to take charge of your own situation and make informed decisions. If you leave these decisions up to a doctor or anyone else for that matter, you risk being subjected to invasive and irreversible treatments that may not always be necessary.


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