Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Select An Article

Breast Cancer: Treatment by Stage

Font Size
A
A
A

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:

Recommended Related to Breast Cancer

Understanding Breast Cancer -- the Basics

Before discussing breast cancer, it's important to be familiar with the anatomy of the breast. The normal breast consists of milk-producing glands that are connected to the surface of the skin at the nipple by narrow ducts. The glands and ducts are supported by connective tissue made up of fat and fibrous material. Blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic channels to the lymph nodes make up most of the rest of the breast tissue. This breast anatomy sits under the skin and on top of the chest muscles...

Read the Understanding Breast Cancer -- the Basics article > >

  • 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
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW