3 Stages Of Breast Cancer: What They Will Tell You

small__6869336880If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’ll want to know what stage the cancer is in to best identify the treatment plans you and your cancer care team will take.  In the second series if our blogs educating you during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ll be covering how breast cancer is staged. 

Whether you know to ask the question or not, your doctor will likely tell you what stage your cancer is in.  The cancer stage is important for prognosis and deciding on a treatment plan as it describes the extent of cancer in the body.  Below is what the different stages will tell you:

  • Invasive or non-invasive
  • Size of the tumor
  • How many lymph nodes are involved
  • Whether or not is has spread to other parts of the boy

The stage of your cancer comes from a standardized system, which is shared with your cancer team to help you during treatment and recovery.  The stages are broken into three categories with several sub categories within each. 

Primary Tumor (T)

Describes the tumor’s size and the extent of the spreading.

Nearby Lymph Nodes (N)

Lets your cancer care team know the extent the cancer has spread, if any, into nearby lymph nodes.

Metastasis (M)

The M category notes whether or not the cancer has spread to organs not located near the breast, such as the lungs or bones.

There is much more detail behind the standardized staging system your cancer care team will use.  When you first learn of your diagnosis, it can be overwhelming and the terms they use in describing your condition may not make sense to you.  Be sure to ask for clarification and for materials so you can educate yourself on what’s going on in your body, better enabling you to decide on the best treatment plan for you.  For the full list of cancer staging categories, you can find them in this article.

If your treatment plan includes chemotherapy, you will begin to lose your hair about two weeks after your first treatment.  By visiting with New Horizons Atlanta before your first treatment, an Alpharetta, GA hair replacement salon, we can help you find the perfect hair system so you’ll have it before your hair begins to fall out.  Contact New Horizons today to schedule your free one-hour consultation and, together, your technician and you will find the perfect hair system while you go through cancer treatments.  Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to learn about how we’re helping our clients with their hair loss during chemotherapy.