Breast Cancer – Types & Stages

Orange County Cyberknife is a recognized leader in breast cancer treatment. We have the expertise and ability to treat all types of breast cancer using an array of treatment techniques. Helping you understand your type of breast cancer and the treatment options available is our first step towards your successful remission.

Breast cancer can occur in different parts of the breast including the ducts, lobules and tissue in between. Additionally, breast cancer can be invasive, non-invasive, recurrent and/or metastatic. Each type of breast cancer is most receptive to different treatment options. Some may require breast cancer surgery, others may be receptive to radiation therapy or a combination of both.

Below you will find information on the types of breast cancer including breast cancer in men. You will also find details on the stages of breast cancer and their meanings.

Invasive Breast Cancer

Invasive breast cancers are types that have spread beyond the original tumor site. The majority of diagnoses are invasive. Fortunately, modern breast cancer treatment options allow for a high chance of success with early detection. These are the most common types of invasive breast cancer.

Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

Non-Invasive breast cancer types are those that have not spread beyond the original tumor. They are not life-threatening. However, they require prompt and effective breast cancer treatment because they increase the risk of cancer developing in the future. There are two types of non-invasive breast cancer:

Rare Types of Breast Cancer

While the majority of cases of breast cancer fall into the above types, there are some other types. Some of these are benign and others are malignant. While these are uncommon, being aware of them is still necessary. Even benign forms require breast cancer surgery or other treatment. These are some of the rare types of breast cancer:

Male Breast Cancer

The majority of breast cancer patients are women. Nonetheless, despite being very rare, breast cancer does affect men. Around 2,600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. As with all types of cancer, early detection and prompt breast cancer treatment can greatly increase the chances of success.

There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of a man developing breast cancer. Understanding these factors will help you and your physician better screen for and potentially detect breast cancer.

Stages of Breast Cancer

Cancer is typically described in stages. These help doctors better understand the current status of the disease and what the most appropriate treatment plan will be. The most common system for determining the stage is called TNM. It is based on the state of the tumor, node, and metastasis.

Using models like TMN, doctors assign levels for the above factors. They then combine these levels to assign a stage to the cancer. The stages describe the current state and severity of the disease. These are the stages of breast cancer:

  • Stage 0 – This is a non-invasive cancer when the disease remains in the ducts and lobules of the breast tissue and has not spread to other surrounding tissue.
  • Stage 1A – An invasive cancer, but in which the tumor is still small and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 1B – The cancer has spread ONLY to the lymph nodes and is between .2 millimeters (mm) and 2 mm in size. There is no tumor in the breast or the tumor is less than 20 mm.
  • Stage 2A – This stage can mean several things:
    • There is no tumor in the breast but the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
    • The tumor is smaller than 20 mm and has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
    • The tumor is larger than 20 mm and has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
    • The tumor is between 20 mm and 50 mm, but not spread.
  • Stage 2B – Either of the following puts you at this stage:
    • The tumor is between 20 mm and 50 mm and has spread to up to three nearby lymph nodes.
    • The tumor is larger than 50 mm but has NOT spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3A – Any size tumor has spread to between four and nine nearby lymph nodes, but not to other parts of the body. Or, a tumor larger than 50 mm that has spread to up to three lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3B  The cancer has spread to the chest wall or caused swelling or ulceration of the breast or is diagnosed as inflammatory breast cancer. It may have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, but it has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 3C – This stage refers to any size tumor that has spread to 10 or more nearby lymph nodes, but not to distant parts of the body.
  • Stage 4   In the stage, the cancer is metastatic meaning it has spread to other organs such as the lungs, brain, distant lymph nodes, bones, liver, or chest wall. This stage of cancer is usually found after a previous diagnosis of early breast cancer.
  • Recurrent – This stage of cancer is used when the cancer returns after treatment. Once that happens, doctors run more tests to establish a current stage.

Call Us Today To Find Out More

Orange County Cyberknife wants to answer all of your questions, ensuring you know the radiation options available to you at our comprehensive facility. Use these links to find out more about breast cancer:

Or, contact us today at (714) 962-7100 with your questions. Our team of internationally renowned radiotherapy and radiosurgery specialists can treat tumors throughout your body using the most advanced non-surgical and non-invasive radiation therapy systems available. Orange County CyberKnife is your comprehensive cancer center in Southern California that offers multiple advanced radiation treatments, including the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery system. Orange County CyberKnife has established itself as the trusted choice of more than 100 area doctors for their patients’ radiation oncology needs. You can trust us to help choose a treatment option that is right for you.