Stages of Breast Cancer

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Stage IV
Distant metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Stage III
locally advanced cancer: cancer that has spread from where it started to nearby tissue or lymph nodes.
Stage II
One of the following:
The tumor is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch to 2 inches). The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch to 2 inches). The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm
The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches). The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Stage I
Early stage of invasive breast cancer. The tumor is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across. Cancer cells have not spread beyond the breast.
Stage 0
Carcinoma in situ: a group of abnormal cells that remain in the tissue in which they first formed. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue.
Stage IIIC
A tumor of any size. It has spread in one of the following ways:
The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes behind the breastbone and under the arm.
The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes above or below the collarbone.
Stage IIIB
A tumor of any size that has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast. It may be associated with swelling of the breast or with nodules (lumps) in the breast skin.
Stage IIIA
The tumor is no more than 5 centimeters (2 inches) across. The cancer has spread to underarm lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures. Or the cancer may have spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
The tumor is more than 5 centimeters across. The cancer has spread to underarm lymph nodes that are either alone or attached to each other or to other structures. Or the cancer may have spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
Source: National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov
Stages of Breast Cancer