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.
Grades and stages
Comparison of Treatment Costs for Breast Cancer, by Tumor Stage and Type of Service
The stage extent of your breast cancer is an important factor in making decisions about your treatment. Many women also get some kind of drug therapy. In general, the more the breast cancer has spread, the more treatment you will likely need. But your treatment options are affected by your personal preferences and other information about your breast cancer, such as:. Most women with breast cancer in stages I to III will get some kind of drug therapy as part of their treatment. This may include:. These breast cancers are still relatively small and either have not spread to the lymph nodes or have spread to only a tiny area in the sentinel lymph node the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread.
What happens at each stage of breast cancer?
Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses drugs to target and destroy breast cancer cells. These drugs are usually given directly into a vein through a needle or as a pill. Chemotherapy for breast cancer frequently is used in addition to other treatments, such as surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. Receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may increase the chance of a cure, decrease the risk of the cancer returning, alleviate symptoms from the cancer or help people with cancer live longer with a better quality of life.
The following are treatment options for stage 2 ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma. Doctors consider stage 2A to be early stage breast cancer. Stage 2B is considered to be locally advanced breast cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.