What Each Breast Cancer Stage Means

At South Coast Medical Group, we know that breast cancer is a very serious illness to face alone. That’s why we stand with our patients through every step of treatment to get them on the road to recovery and remission. This is something that Dr. Cheng, Dr. O’Connor, and Dr. Tseng of South Coast Medical Group in Aliso Viejo share a passion for, and they are committed to helping patients through their individual stages of breast cancer. Believe it or not, all breast cancer is not the same. In fact, many patients do not fully understand what differentiates the stages of breast cancer.   The team at Aliso Viejo’s first family medical practice and urgent care want to break down the stages to provide you with the most information. 

Stage 0

First, there is Stage 0, which is the earliest stage of breast cancer. This typically means that a cancerous mass is detected in the breast ducts or milk glands. This is by far the easiest form of breast cancer to treat.

Stage I

Stage I breast cancer is also called invasive breast cancer and is cancerous tissue that has begun to spread to healthy tissue. This breast cancer stage can be further divided into Stage 1A, which is cancer that has spread to fatty breast tissue or Stage 1B, which is cancer that has spread to a small number of lymph nodes near the breast.

Stage II

Stage II is breast cancer that is spreading or growing from its original area. A Stage 2A tumor may spread to more lymph nodes while a Stage 2B breast tumor may be enlarged.

Stage III

Stage III breast cancer is considered to be an advanced form of breast cancer. This type of cancer can sometimes spread to many lymph nodes across the body or may be an enlarged tumor within the breast. Tumors of this stage may also begin growing within the chest or the skin surrounding the breast. Stage III breast cancers may even spread to areas of the body above the collarbone.

Stage IV

Stage IV breast cancer is considered the most severe form of breast cancer and the most difficult to treat. At this stage, the cancer cells have spread to many places away from the breasts. Some organs that can become cancerous are the lungs, liver, and brain as well as other lymph nodes across the body. When cancer reaches this stage, it is considered to be metastatic.

If you or a loved one is facing breast cancer or wishes to be screened for cancer, then choose South Coast Medical Group. South Coast Medical Group doctors have years of experience in providing excellent and compassionate care to patients. Dr. Shannon O’Connor M.D. is our resident breast cancer specialist and has helped patients facing cancer at different stages of growth. We treat our patients like they are our family, and we will stand beside you as we face breast cancer together. Our goal is to put you on the road to recovery and remission.

Have you noticed any changes or anything unusual with your breasts? Contact us for a breast cancer screening appointment so we can check your symptoms.