Appropriate Treatments for Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage 3 Breast Cancer is a type of cancer wherein the cancer cells have not yet metastasized to the other organs of the body but has affected the lymph nodes. Once a patient has reached this stage, the odds start to decline at a far more rapid rate. What about the survival rates?
Cancer survival rates are typically based on the five-year survival rate or the percentage of individuals alive at least five years after diagnosis. The American Cancer Society estimates Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survival rate at 57 percent. It is not a good percentage to know when realizing the survival rate in the previous stages.
This means that the Stage 3 Breast Cancer Prognosis is worse than state 1 and 2 breast cancers. This stage of breast cancer is more advanced but due to the research developments, survival rates have improved for breast cancers that were diagnosed as Stage 3 Breast Cancer.
Subtypes of Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage 3 Breast Cancer is broken down into three sub-stages, according to the American Cancer Society. There are distinct levels of severity within Stage 3 Breast Cancer.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer: 3A
There is no cancer in the breast but adjoining lymph nodes under the arm are cancerous, OR the cancer in the breast is 5cm or smaller in size and has spread to lymph nodes under the arm that are connected.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer: 3B
This is inflammatory breast cancer, an aggressive type of cancer, is present OR breast cancer is in breast and adjoining tissue such as skin or muscles around the breast and may also have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer: 3C
There is a tumor in the breast which has spread to 10 or more lymph nodes under the arm. Additional lymph nodes around the neck and collar area may be involved.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer Treatments
Treatment for Stage 3 Breast Cancer is very similar to that of Stage 2 breast cancer. Treatment Stage 3 Breast Cancer from surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy all are likely treatment options in one combination or another. More advanced Stage 3 Breast Cancer (referred to as Stage 3B and 3C) often are treated with chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy prior to surgery.
Here are the details for Stage 3 Breast Cancer treatments.
• Surgery- Surgery may be chosen by breast cancer patients depending on the aggression of the disease. If the tumor is still well defined, mastectomy or lumpectomy can be suggested as a treatment option.
• Chemotherapy- Chemotherapy is a systemic form of treatment for breast cancer which is usually done in the advanced stages such as the stage 3C.
• Radiation Therapy- Radiation therapy acts as a combination therapy with the other treatment modalities which usually have a regional effect to the cancer cells.
• Other treatments- Hormonal therapy is given to women who have breast cancers that are hormone receptive positive which prevents the progression of the tumor. Biological therapy targets the specific functions of the cancer cells so that they can be disrupted.