One of the worst kinds of cancers that have an impact in women’s health is breast cancer. In fact, this disease is among the primary causes of deaths in women during the past few years. While this is a serious and deadly health condition, breast cancer can be prevented and treated.
It is always advisable for women to do regular self examination and check-up with a professional healthcare provider to reduce the possibility of worsening the condition once a woman has this cancer. For anything else, it is important that you know some facts about breast cancer. Below is a list of the different stages of the cancer that every woman must be aware of.
Essentially, there are 4 stages of breast cancer, which range from 1 to 4. In each stage, various symptoms occur and different kinds of treatments are recommended.
Stage 0 to 1
The stage 0 or1 is the mildest stage of breast cancer. This means you can still have a high chance of treating the cancer as long as it is diagnosed and cured earlier. Stage 0 breast cancer does not usually require treatment. However, if treatment is necessary, it is always successful and a woman will no longer have to worry about it.
The recommended treatments for stage 0 and stage 1 include chemotherapy, biological therapy, surgery, immunotherapy and radiation therapy. In most cases, not all of these treatments are conducted.
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ or Intraductal Carcinoma
This is an abnormal cell that is located at the ducts of the breast of a woman. It is considered a zero stage cancer so it is not that dangerous. Yet, surgery, radiation therapy, endocrine therapy and biological therapy are suggested to treat this condition.
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ
Abnormal cells are in the lobes of the breast. Endocrine therapy and bilateral mastectomy are the treatments.
Paget’s Disease of the Nipples
Another stage 0 breast cancer is Paget’s disease in one or two of the nipples. This is a common condition that happens to women. The affected area is around the nipple, and can be treated through surgery or local excision with radiation therapy.
There are two sub-types of Stage 2 or II breast cancer. Stage 2A and Stage 2B are both invasive breast cancers. The difference is that in Stage 2A, there is no tumor in the breast, but in the auxiliary lymph nodes about 2 centimeters to 5 centimeters, while Stage 2B has a tumor in the breast with cancer cells in the lymph nodes or auxiliary lymph nodes.
Stage 3 or III has three types, the 3A, 3B, and 3C. Stage 3A has no tumor in the breast or if there is any, it is in the auxiliary lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone. The size of the tumor is 5 centimeters to 6 centimeters. Stage 3B, also termed as inflammatory breast cancer, is when tumor is present in the breast and has spread to the chest wall, skin, auxiliary lymph nodes, and/or lymph nodes near the breastbone. The last type, stage 3C, is a tumor in the breast but without signs at all, and can also spread to the skin, chest wall, auxiliary lymph nodes, near the breastbone, and above or below the collarbone.
The most dangerous stage is Stage 4 or IV. This is because the cancer cells have spread to the other areas of the upper body. These include the lungs, liver, brain, and bones. Doctors suggest a patient with Stage 4 breast cancer to undergo chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, biological therapy, palliative care and clinical trials. The survival rate during this stage is quite tricky, depending on the progression of the disease.
Do not be happy if you have stage 0, 1 or 2 breast cancer, because the lower the stage is, the less chance for you to feel or see any symptoms, which still makes it dangerous. The most effective way is to prevent having cancer in the breast. You can avoid this cancer by changing your lifestyle and habits, which include your diet and vices. If you have the habit to smoke and drink alcohol more than occasionally, it is essential to stop dong them. Instead, make a daily or regular exercise and eat the right kinds of foods. Also, don’t forget to make a regular check-up with a doctor to know your health status.