Breast cancer is a disease in which the breast cells grow out of control or abnormally. These cells grow faster than healthy cells and form a lump or mass. There are various kinds of breast cancer depending on the cells in the breast that turn into cancer. In addition, it can be cured according to the stages of breast cancer and pre-existing health conditions. If you want to explore breast cancer, this blog is for you. Please continue your reading:
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast grow and divide uncontrollably and create a mass of tissues called a tumor or breast cancer. It can start in one or both breasts.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Following are the common symptom of breast cancer:
- New lump in the breast or underarm
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast
- Irritated or itchy breasts
- Charges in breast color and touch
What are the stages of breast cancer?
The stage of breast cancer is important to know before deciding on your treatment. There are five stages of breast cancer, as given below:
- 0 Stage
- Stage I
- Stage II
- Stage III
- Stage IV
What is Stage 0 of breast cancer, and what is its treatment?
During the 0 stages of breast cancer, cancer is only limited to the inside of the milk duct and is non-invasive. Breast cancer is not diagnosed yet during this stage, but it can be a risk factor for breast cancer. To treat the 0 stages of breast cancer following treatment options are considered:
- Surgery to remove the lymph node
- Mastectomy to remove the entire breast
What is Stage I of breast cancer, and what is its treatment?
During stage I of breast cancer, the size of the abnormal mass is small and is not spread to the lymph nodes. During this stage, breast cancer is easily treatable. The following treatment options are considered:
- Surgery to remove the entire breast
- Radiation therapy lowers the chance of cancer coming back
- Systematic therapy, including chemotherapy
What is Stage II of breast cancer, and what is its treatment?
During stage II of breast cancer, the size of the abnormal lump or mass is relatively large than surrounding cells and has been spread to a few nearby lymph nodes. This stage of breast cancer is curable but complicated. The following treatment options are considered to deal with this stage of breast cancer:
- Breast-conserving surgery
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Systematic therapy, including chemotherapy and other drugs
What is the Stage III of breast cancer, and what is its treatment?
During stage III of breast cancer, the tumor size is more than 5cm and has been spread to many nearby lymph nodes. Cancer at stage III is treated slightly differently from other stages of breast cancer. First of all, neoadjuvant therapy is started with chemotherapy before surgery. If it doesn’t remove the tumor, then a mastectomy is done. In addition, lymph node biopsy can also be used to treat the lymph nodes. After this, the second treatment approach is used with trastuzumab for up to a year. The second treatment approach is used if cancer is still in the breast or lymph nodes after the surgery. Some immunotherapy drugs are also recommended, such as pembrolizumab before and after the surgery, to improve the women’s immunity so that they can fight against cancer with solid immunity.
What is Stage IV of breast cancer, and what is its treatment?
Stage IV of breast cancer is the most dangerous stage of cancer because, in this stage, cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to the other parts of the body such as lungs, skin, bones, brain, etc. The main treatment for stage IV breast cancer is systematic drugs with other treatment methods such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatment options can only treat breast cancer from a specific part of the body. However, it is impossible to get rid of cancer at this stage completely.
Breast cancer is a major cause of death around the world. The breast cells divide uncontrollably and form an abnormal mass during breast cancer. There are different stages of breast cancer depending on the growth of abnormal cells, the size of the mass, and the invasion of the mass to the lymph nodes and surrounding body parts. Various treatment options are available to treat breast cancer but they depend upon the stage of breast cancer and pre-existing health conditions. Few of the stages are curable, but others are complicated, and not possible to get rid of cancer completely at that stage.