Your doctor tells you that you have breast cancer stage IV. What exactly are breast cancer stages?
Breast cancer staging describes the extent, or spread, of cancer in your body. Depending on your breast cancer stage prognosis, Dignity Health Central Coast’s team of health care providers will recommend the most effective treatment for you.
Find a Doctor today to discuss your personalized treatment options for any stage of breast cancer on the Central Coast of California.
Understanding Breast Cancer Stages with Dignity Health Central Coast
Your doctor will explain the stages of breast cancer and help you understand what to expect. Together, you will discuss the best treatment options, possible side effects, and your overall health and well-being.
Breast cancer stages range from 0, I, II, III, and IV. Higher numbers indicate more extensive disease.
The stage of your cancer depends on:
- The size of the cancer
- Invasive or noninvasive cancer
- Cancer cells in your lymph nodes
- Spread (metastasized) to other organs
We understand all that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis, including the healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Complete healing always remains our focus at Dignity Health Central Coast.
Stages of Breast Cancer
Dignity Health Central Coast doctors rely on biopsy results, blood tests, and imaging exams to most accurately stage breast cancer.
Noninvasive breast cancer, or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), grows in your milk ducts, but the cancer cells remain in place. This earliest form of breast cancer is usually treated with surgery and possible hormone therapy or radiation.
Early invasive breast cancer grows into nearby breast tissue, but the tumor remains small. Treatment usually starts with surgery and radiation followed by other therapies to kill any surviving cancer cells.
This stage includes early forms of invasive breast cancer. The tumor is either larger than stage I or has spread to local lymph nodes. Treatment remains similar to stage I. Radiation treatment before surgery can help shrink tumors, allowing you to choose breast-conserving surgery instead of mastectomy.
Described as locally advanced breast cancer, this type has spread to nearby lymph nodes and tissues but not to distant body areas. It typically involves presurgery treatment and mastectomy followed by radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or immune-targeted therapy.
Defined as metastatic breast cancer, this stage means the cancer has spread beyond your breast and lymph nodes to organs or other parts of your body. Treatment focuses on shrinking tumors and extending your life.
For all breast cancer stages, Dignity Health provides personalized care with humankindness. Contact us to talk with a cancer expert who provides care with dignity and respect.
Dignity Health provides exceptional oncology services, compassionate breast cancer care, and information on breast cancer stages on the Central Coast of California.