Identifying breast cancer at an early stage increases the chances of curing the disease. That’s because the tumor hasn’t spread yet and treatments may be milder. Did you know? is what they show data from the Oncoguia Institutein which the pathology has a cure rate of 90%, if discovered in time.
For this reason, it is essential to watch for signs through self-examination and clinical examination. After all, know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, according to the INCA. Also, consider that this disease also affects men, although to a lesser extent.
Given the information cited, the importance of knowing the stages of breast cancer for greater care is clear. Do you want to know more about that? Keep reading!
How to identify breast cancer?
You already understand that early identification of breast cancer helps combat its negative side effects. So know that it is possible to identify breast cancer based on some symptoms, which can vary for each patient. The main ones are:
- enlarged lymph nodes;
- single hardened nodule;
- redness or swelling in the breast;
- sore breasts or nipples;
- nipple inversion;
- thickening or retraction of the nipple or skin;
- bloody or serous discharge expelled through the paranasal sinuses;
- irritation or bulging of one of the breasts;
These symptoms can be noted through breast self-examination, recommended days after menstruation. For those who have already entered menopause, any time of the month is indicated. The other way of identification is through routine examinations, which must be carried out periodically. One of them is the mammography, indicated annually, from the age of 40.
However, in breastfeeding periods, mammography may not be satisfactory in identifying breast cancer. In this case, ultrasound is usually the alternative. Depending on the level of suspicion, doctors often recommend biopsies during infancy or pregnancy.
Another exam is breast ultrasound, which is also recommended once a year, starting at age 25. It does not replace mammography, but is complementary to it. After all, breast ultrasound helps with a more detailed analysis of small breast lesions.
Through the SUS, mammography can be performed from the age of 40, and breast ultrasound from the age of 50. The exception is for younger women who presented some symptom that justifies carrying out the aforementioned tests.
What are the stages of breast cancer treatment?
After knowing the main symptoms and the tests that identify breast cancer, it is time to discover the stages of the disease for a more effective treatment. Verify!
In stage 0 breast cancer, cancer cells are still installed in the milk ducts of the breasts. Therefore, this stage is also called carcinoma. in the place. Fortunately, most of the time, these cells do not form nodules. This is mainly because they do not come into contact with the vessels of the mammary gland.
Still, they are easily noticed on tests such as a mammogram. Then, after identification, it is possible to propose non-invasive treatments with high healing potential. After all, as already mentioned, early identification of this problem increases the chances of cure in treatment.
In stage 1 breast cancer, the tumor takes shape, despite being very small and measuring about 2 cm. Also for this reason, it cannot spread to the lymph nodes present in the armpit, structures that filter harmful substances.
As in stage 0, it is possible to diagnose this problem with a mammogram and a self-examination, in addition to other medical tests. The treatments that are carried out are of a moderate level, since the disease is at the beginning.
However, it is essential to think of strategies to prevent the disease from spreading to other regions and ensure its control. Treatment usually consists of surgery and radiotherapy, in addition to the use of less aggressive drugs.
The tumors are larger than in stage 1, which can range from 2 cm to 5 cm. Therefore, it is usual that they have already reached some axillary nodes and even exceed 5 cm.
Most breast cancer diagnoses are made by health professionals at this stage, which is still considered early and has a high chance of cure. Treatment includes, in addition to surgery and radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, which inhibits cancer growth.
Stage 3 tumors are larger than 5 cm and have already spread to nearby lymph nodes, such as those in the armpit. Therefore, it is called locally advanced breast cancer. This is because there has been spread to other breast tissues, although the other regions of the body are spared.
The treatment of this condition is similar to that of the other stages: chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. All of this is important to stop the spread of the disease to other parts of the body.
Stage 4 is even more advanced than the previous stage. Hence, it is also called ”metastatic breast cancer” or ”advanced breast cancer”. This is because it has also spread to other organs in the body, such as lungs, liver, bones, etc., characterizing the condition as metastasis.
Therefore, it is essential that the patient seek the appropriate treatment to combat the compromised cells. This includes immunotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and others. Thus, the chances of survival of the patient in stage 4 depend on the location of the tumor and the response to treatment.
As can be seen, adequate treatment is essential for the patient diagnosed with breast cancer to have a better quality of life and to survive. In this sense, it is essential that the patient follows the medical recommendations with rigidity and discipline to increase the chances of success.
So, were you able to clear up your main doubts about the stage of breast cancer and how to follow the appropriate treatment? Doing this and being attentive to the information is essential and can be decisive in improving the patient’s condition. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on this and other health topics!
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