Once a person is determined to have a malignant tumor or the diagnosis of breast cancer, the healthcare team will determine staging to communicate how far the disease has progressed.
Why is the breast cancer stage important?
Determining the stage helps determine the best way to contain and eliminate the breast cancer.
How is the stage determined?
The stage is based on the following factors:
The size of the tumor within the breast
The number of lymph nodes affected
The nearest lymph nodes are found under the arm, known as the axillary area
Signs indicating whether or not the breast cancer cancer has invaded other organs within the body
If breast cancer has spread, or metastasized, evidence be may found in the bones, liver, lungs, or brain.
On January 1, 2018, the American Join Committee on Cancer (AJCC) launched new staging guidelines for breast cancer. If you were diagnosed in 2018, please refer to this staging information.