Breast cancer develops in stages, and each stage further in development means that the condition becomes more serious. Different stages of cancer may require different treatments. More serious treatment is required with different stages and types.
If you have questions about breast cancer and the types of breast cancer treatments, this guide will help you understand what may be in store.
Stage 0 Breast Cancer
The first stage of breast cancer involves cancer that is confined to a limited space, like the milk duct. This cancer is very early and may be just a small tumor. This type of cancer may require surgery, perhaps removal of the breast or the tumor based on the size of the cancer. Hormone therapy may follow surgery.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer
Stage I involves cancer that is still quite small. It has not spread or has spread very little, and it may benefit from radiation therapy and surgery. Treatment early on will prevent the spread of the surgery to other parts of the body. Chemo can kill cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes, and surgery can target the tumor itself.
Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Stage II breast cancer is slightly larger than cancer contained in the breast, and it may have spread to a few lymph nodes. Treating this kind of cancer involves surgery with the intention to save the breast or to remove the breast based on what is best for you. You may also undergo radiation and drug therapy to kill any remaining bits of cancer.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage III cancer is growing larger, and it may have spread to skin, muscle, and other tissues. It may have also spread throughout the lymph nodes. This type of treatment will involve removing a large tumor. The doctor may also administer chemotherapy before surgery. After surgery, you may undergo radiation.
Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage IV breast cancer is considered metastatic. It has spread throughout the body, and it requires intensive therapy via drugs. A combination of treatments will be used to kill the cancer. These treatments may include any combination of surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other medications.
Speak With a Breast Cancer Treatment Professional
Breast cancer is a serious disease that requires quick treatment. Speak with a treatment professional to learn more about your treatment options. The sooner you speak to a professional about treatment, the better. It may just save your life.