What You Should Know About Stage Three Breast Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, you have a more invasive form of breast cancer than those who have been diagnosed at a really early stage. Because some forms of breast cancer are very hard to detect in the early stages, and some do not really show up well on a mammogram, this is something that can happen to anyone. You do have a fight on your hands, but that does not mean you have to give up hope. Cancer deaths are on the decline, and that is good news for anyone receiving a diagnosis today.
Stage three breast cancer has two different sub-categories. These are often referred to as stage three A and stage three B. If you have stage three A, this means that you have a lump in your breast that is larger than five centimeters. This might also mean that your doctors fear that lymph nodes have been infected with cancerous cells. If you have stage three B, you have invasive cancer that has spread to other parts of your breasts, or both breasts, but the size of the tumor can be any size. Stage three B is also an indication of inflammatory cancer, which is often not found early due to the nature of the symptoms.
Because stage three breast cancer is still believed to be contained within the breast area, localized treatment options are used. This means that you may have surgery to remove the lump. If the entire breast is infected with cancer cells, that might be mean you have to have a mastectomy, but doctors will avoid the latter if there is any way to do so. You may also have any combination of chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone therapy when you have stage three breast cancer.
Your doctor will explain where the cancerous cells are located, and will explain why each treatment is being recommended. The aim of treatment is to remove the tumor, if present, and to make sure any other cancer cells that may have spread to the rest of your body are contained and destroyed. It is also essential that you follow up in the months and years that follow to be sure you remain cancer-free.
Stage three breast cancer is advanced, which means aggressive treatment is necessary. Though the final decisions are up to you, you should make sure you discuss all options that are open to you. You are going to go through a wide array of emotions once you are diagnosed, and you may want to find a support group to help you deal with what will come next and what you are feeling. The United States has the highest number of diagnosed cases of breast cancer, and though that is a depressing though, it also means that you are not alone. Seek help and information from any and all sources that are out there. Not only can you find support within your community, you can also find it online.