Breast cancer stage helps plan your treatment and is the most important factor for prognosis. In general, the earlier the stage, the better the prognosis will be.
There are two types of breast cancer staging:
Pathologic staging (the standard way to stage breast cancer) is based on a pathologist’s study of the lymph nodes and tumor tissue removed during surgery.
Clinical staging includes results from a health care provider’s physical exam and tests like mammography. These may add to the pathologist’s findings, when needed.
Although there are a few ways to classify stage, the most widely used is the TNM system (which stands for tumor, nodes and metastases). TNM takes into account:
Facts for Life: Breast Cancer Prognosis
Breast Cancer 101 - Types and Staging
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