It is imperative for a doctor to know the stage of your breast cancer to ensure the right treatment. Breast cancer is a complicated disease with a number of risk factors attached to it. There are different stages of breast cancer which are explained below:


Stage 0:

Stage 0 is the stage of non-invasive breast cancer. In this stage, the cancer cells do not spread to other areas. Examples of Stage 0 are LCIS and DCIS.


Stage 1:

In Stage 1 the cancer spreads out to other areas and is called invasive breast cancer. In this case:


-         The tumor measures up to 2 cm

-         No lymph nodes are involved


Stage 2:

Stage 2 is also about invasive breast cancer with the following conditions:


-         The tumor measures up to at least 2 centimeters to 5 cm.

-         The cancer spreads to the lymph nodes under the arm on the same side as the breast cancer. The affected lymph nodes do not attach to one another or to the surrounding tissues. This is a sign that the cancer has not moved to the next stage yet.


Stage 3:

Stage 3 is further classified into two categories known as 3A and 3B.

- Stage 3A:
Stage 3A is about invasive breast cancer in which the conditions are:
            - The tumor is larger than 5 cm

- No significant participation of lymph nodes is observed. In this stage of breast cancer the nodes attach to each other or the surrounding tissues.

- Stage 3B:
Stage 3B is about invasive breast cancer in which a tumor irrespective of its size spreads out to the breast skin, chest wall or to the internal mammary lymph nodes. Inflammatory breast cancer is in Stage 3B. it is a rare breast cancer but is very dangerous and aggressive. Inflammatory breast cancer is distinguished from normal breast cancer by its redness on the breast. This redness gives a warm or inflammatory feeling. During this stage one might experience puffiness and ridges on the skin.



Stage 4:

Stage 4 is about invasive breast cancer having the following conditions:


-         The tumor spreads beyond the breast, underarm and internal mammary lymph nodes

-         The tumor spreads to the base of the neck, above the collarbone (area known as supraclavicular), lungs, liver, bones or the brain.