Breast Cancer Stages
This form of breast cancer may be a large tumor, but the cancer has not spread beyond the breast and into nearby lymph nodes. It is locally advanced cancer. There are three types:
- Stage IIIA
- Stage IIIB
- Stage IIIC.
Stage IIIA Breast Cancer
Stage IIIA breast cancer is one of the following:
- The tumor in the breast is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches) across. The cancer has spread to underarm lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures.
- The tumor is more than 5 centimeters across. The cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes.
Stage IIIB Breast Cancer
Stage IIIB breast cancer is one of the following:
- The tumor has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast
- The cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
Stage IIIC Breast Cancer
This breast cancer stage refers to a tumor of any size. It has spread in one of the following ways:
- The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes behind the breastbone and under the arm
- The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under or above the collarbone.
Stage IV breast cancer is distant metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Recurrent Breast CancerRecurrent cancer is cancer that has come back (recurred) after a period of time when it could not be detected. It may recur locally in the breast or chest wall. Or it may recur in any other part of the body, such as the bones, liver, or lungs.