Stage 3 cancer means the breast cancer has extended to beyond the immediate region of the tumor and may have invaded nearby lymph nodes and muscles, but has not spread to distant organs. Although this stage is considered to be advanced, there are a growing number of effective treatment options. The difference is determined by the size of the tumor and whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and surrounding tissue.
Skip to Content. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on many factors.
The stage of the cancer helps you and your doctor:. Breast cancer stage is usually expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV — with stage 0 describing non-invasive cancers that remain within their original location and stage IV describing invasive cancers that have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body. Your pathology report will include information that is used to calculate the stage of the breast cancer — that is, whether it is limited to one area in the breast, or it has spread to healthy tissues inside the breast or to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer that is only in the breast and has not spread to the lymph nodes has a better prognosis chance of survival than breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. The poorest prognosis is for metastatic breast cancer stage IVwhen the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. An overall survival rate shows the percentage of people who are alive after a certain period of time after diagnosis of a disease such as breast cancer.
Hearing you have stage 3 breast cancer can bring many questions — about your diagnosis, survival, treatments, and more. First, stage 3 breast cancer means your cancer has spread beyond the tumor and has possibly gone to lymph nodes and muscle, but has not spread to nearby organs. Doctors divide stage 3 into more specific categories 3A, 3B, and 3C and the cancer subtype, meaning which type of breast cancer you have.
What is prognosis outlook? How is prognosis estimated? What affects prognosis?
Stage 1A means that the tumour is 2 centimetres cm or smaller and has not spread outside the breast. Stage 1B means that small areas of breast cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes close to the breast and that:. You might have just the cancerous area removed with a border of normal breast tissue.
Staging and grading usually happens after your breast tumour has been removed by surgery, as a pathologist will need to test the tissue in a laboratory and examine it under a microscope. The grade of a tumour indicates what the cells look like and gives an idea of how quickly the cancer may grow and spread. Tumours are graded between 1 and 3. Grade 1 — the cancer cells look small and uniform like normal cells, and are usually slow-growing compared to other grades of breast cancer.