Stages Of Breast Cancer| Breast Cancer Subtypes|Treatment

Breast Cancer

What Are Sub-types of Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer can also be classified based on the sensitivity of cancerous cells to hormonal treatment and the various stages of cancer growth.

Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells consist of proteins known as hormone receptors which cling to estrogen and/or progesterone, the natural hormones responsible for sexual development and menstrual cycles, pregnancy and embryogenesis circulating in the body. Hormonal receptivity/sensitivity determines the applicability of hormonal therapy in curing the breast cancer.

HER2 – positive Breast Cancer

Certain masses of breast cancer have a very high amount of protein content in them that aid in proliferation of cancer cells called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Some specific medicines that target HER2 can kill cancer.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Triple Negative Breast Cancer gives negative results to (i) estrogen receptor, (ii) progesterone receptor and (iii) HER2. This category of cancer is insensitive to hormonal treatment. Hence, alternative methods of treatment have to be selected in such cases.

Breast Cancer

Triple Positive Breast Cancer

Contrary to the category mentioned above, hormonal treatment suits best for this type due to the sensitivity to hormone by estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER2. The drugs that target HER2 go well with the treatment.

What Are Stages Of Breast Cancer?

Tests of biopsy, blood sample tests and Image scanning report reveal the stage of cancer that has reached in the body of the patient.

Stage Zero

This is considered as the safest phase where the cancerous cells have not spread out from the ducts or lobes from where they have arisen. Stage-zero cancer cells are in a state that does not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. This is non-evasive like DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in situ).

Stage One Breast Cancer

Stage One Breast Cancer is an invasive category, spreading to healthy tissues but not outside the breast. This has again been divided into two sub-categories 1A and 1B, based on the extent of attacking the nearby lymph nodes.

Stage Two Breast Cancer

This stage pertains to the ramifying cancer cells which invade the lymph nodes of breast alone or also that of the neighbouring parts, leading us further into sub-categories of 2A and 2B.

Stage Three Breast Cancer

This is an advanced stage of breast cancer which involves invading into the lymph nodes of other organs in addition to the breast tissues. Depending on their extent of spreading, the sub-categories of 3A, 3B and 3C have been created for making the process of diagnosis and subsequent medical treatment more appropriate.

Stage Four Breast Cancer

This is the most advanced stage of breast cancer which has spread into other distant parts of the body like lungs, liver, brain and even bones. This category is considered as mostly incurable and the only way left for doctors is to mitigate temporarily the sufferings of the patient and postpone her death as far as possible.