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Stages of Breast Cancer

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    Stage I

    cdr0000732256.jpg
    Stage I breast cancer. In stage IA, the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller and has not spread outside the breast. In stage IB, no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. Small clusters of cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes.

    In stage I, cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB.

    • In stage IA, the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. Cancer has not spread outside the breast.
    • In stage IB, small clusters of breast cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes and either:
      • no tumor is found in the breast; or
      • the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller.

    Stage II

    Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB.

    • In stage IIA:
      • no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. Cancer (larger than 2 millimeters) is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or in the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel lymph node biopsy); or
      • the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

      cdr0000732257.jpg
      Stage IIA breast cancer. No tumor is found in the breast and cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone (left panel); OR the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller and cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone (middle panel); OR the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the lymph nodes (right panel).
    • In stage IIB, the tumor is:
      • larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Small clusters of breast cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes; or
      • larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel lymph node biopsy); or
      • larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

      cdr0000732258.jpg
      Stage IIB breast cancer. The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and small clusters of cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes (left panel); OR the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone (middle panel); OR the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the lymph nodes (right panel).
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