Breast Cancer: Treatment by Stage

Breast cancer is a complex disease that’s different for every woman. Before you start a treatment, your doctor will want to know the size of the tumor and how far it has spread in your body, called the stage of the cancer. There are five basic stages, 0 through IV, and a number of sub-stages.

Staging is a way for doctors to describe your condition. It doesn't tell the whole story, though. Your doctor will think about many things before she recommends treatments for you, including:

  • The type of cancer you have
  • How fast it’s growing
  • Your age and how healthy you are
  • If you’ve had breast cancer before
  • If your tumor has female hormones or other genetic factors, such as the HER2 oncogene, that make it grow faster.

If you know the stage of your breast cancer, you can use this quick guide to see what kinds of treatments might help.

Stage 0 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 0 breast cancer is early stage cancer. Learn about its treatment options.

Stage 0 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

In Stage 1 breast cancer, the cancer is still considered in an early stage. Learn about its treatment options.

Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 2 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

In stage 2 breast cancer, the cancer is in the breast and may also be in nearby lymph nodes. This article describes Stage 2 breast cancer treatment options.

Stage 2 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 3 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

In stage 3 breast cancer, cancer hasn’t spread far beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes. Read about its treatment options.

Stage 3 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 4 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Stage 4 breast cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. Learn how it’s treated.

Stage 4 Breast Cancer Treatment Options

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on January 26, 2015
© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.