June 27th, 2012 by Hasham
Stage 0 & 1 Breast Cancer
Stage 0 non invasive cancers are usually the breast cancer types:
* – Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
* – Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
Stage 1 (I) Breast Cancer
Stage 1 is the first of the following stages in which breast cancer becomes invasive and damages surrounding tissue.
At this early stage, tumors are small (less than 2cm across) and the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
Under the arms, the lymph nodes do not have cancer cells. In later stage breast cancer, the lymph nodes are one of the first areas of the body outside the breast to be affected by breast cancer.
Stage 1 breast cancer responds well to treatment. This is why breast screening is important particularly in women over 40 years of age who are more likely to be affected by breast cancer when they reach 50.
Stage 1 Treatment
Stage 1 treatment options may include:
* Biological Therapy
* Clinical Trials
* Hormone Therapy
* Radiation Therapy
Stage 1 breast cancer survival rates are high. Studies of breast cancer patients followed up to five years after treatment show approximately 98% of women surviving stage 1 breast cancer. These women usually live much longer than 5 years and enjoy a full life
About Stage 1 Breast Cancer
Breast cancer occurs when normal cells divide and multiply in an abnormal manner in the breast tissues. When the cancer cells gather together over time, they begin to form a tumor; this is called a malignancy. Performing a monthly self-exam of your breasts is the best way to initially detect a lump in the breast. If a lump or area is suspicious, your physician will conduct additional tests to make a proper diagnosis. If detected early, this is considered the beginning stage of breast cancer, or a stage 1. Breast cancer is staged in four stages ranging from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most advanced or widespread.
Signs and Symptoms
With stage 1 breast cancer, the main sign is a change in the shape or form of the breast. One of the most prominent signs is a lump or tumor in or around the breast area. The lump doesn’t have to be prominent. If there is an area of skin that is thickened or tender, this could also be a sign of breast cancer. Nipple changes that point inward, dent in or appear suddenly asymmetrical could also be a sign. Breasts that are swollen, red, irritated or pitted should be immediately evaluated by a medical doctor.
It is important if you notice signs of breast cancer that you see your family doctor or gynecologist immediately. This doctor will make a medical referral if necessary to a specialist or an oncologist. She may also schedule a series of tests to determine if it is cancer and which stage or progression the cancer has reached. Tests may include a PET scan, mammogram, CT scan, chest X-ray, molecular breast imaging, blood cell count, bone scan, blood marker test and a biopsy. All of these tests may be conducted before or after you reach your first appointment with your oncologist. Having these tests complete will give the physician a good indication of the area or tissue in question, and she will be able to make a proper diagnosis and accurately stage the malignancy.
Staging is an important process in the breast cancer diagnosis. The stage is a number generally ranging from 1 to 4, or I to IV, that determines treatment and life expectancy with a cancer diagnosis. Stage 1 is the earliest stage of a malignancy. This means that all of the cancer cells are contained in a localized area within the breast. There are other factors that oncologists may consider in a stage, such as palpable lymph nodes and the size of the tumor if one is present. If the cancer does not minimize or completely diminish after treatment, it could spread or metastasize. This means the stage could increase and the chance of survival diminishes.
The prognosis or survival rate for a stage 1 breast cancer patient is very good. According to the Imaginis Women’s Health Resource website, patients have a 100 percent 5-year survival rate. This means they are most likely to live 5 years past the initial diagnosis. These are only statistics, and this does not mean patients don’t face the risk of recurrence or complications during treatment.
There are several ways to treat stage 1 breast cancer. Very rarely is a mastectomy involved with a stage 1 patient. If the tumor is aggressive and appears to be spreading or invading the nearby blood vessels, lymph nodes or tissue, a lumpectomy or possible partial mastectomy may be suggested. Any removal is often followed up by chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormonal therapy to reduce the tumor and kill the remaining cancer cells.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment And Survival Rates
Cancer, the most dreaded disease, which unfortunately doesn’t have a cure as yet, can affect any part of the body. Breast cancer is one such type of cancer, whose incidence is more in women, as compared to men. Breast cancer is mainly caused due to the development of unhealthy cells, which spread at a breakneck pace. An increase in hormonal levels, particularly estrogen, as a result of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy is responsible for this unnatural growth of cells. Other factors like age, family history or mutated genes can also be responsible for the occurrence of breast cancer.
What is Stage 1 Breast Cancer?
As we have seen earlier, breast cancer is staged according to the metastasis of the cancerous cells in the body. There are four stages of every type of cancer. The first two stages indicate that the cancer has just begun and spread to the nearby organs. But the third and fourth stage are a matter or grave concern, since the disease has spread to almost all the organs in the body and destroyed their functioning. Stage 1 breast cancer is the developmental phase of this dreaded disease. This cancer is categorized according to the presence of the tumor in the breast – lobular carcinoma and ductal carcinoma. In lobular carcinoma, the lump grows in the lobules, the part which produces milk. On the other hand, ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer is seen in most of the women suffering from breast cancer, and can occur in the ducts, which are carriers of milk from the breast to the nipples.
It is essential to undergo genetic testing for breast cancer, in case there is a family history of this disease. In the developmental stage of breast cancer, the carcinogenic cells form a mass and develop into a tumor. This tumor can be felt as a hard lump in the breast or near the armpit. However, sometimes the presence of the tumor can be detected only with the help of a mammogram. In the next step of development, the blood vessels in the breast realign themselves so as to supply blood to the tumor. This process is known as angiogenesis and there is a whole new bunch of blood vessels that support the growth of the tumor with oxygen, nutrients and energy. Once the tumor has completely developed, it begins to migrate and invade the nearby healthy tissues. The lymph nodes are the first to get affected, from where the cancerous cells are passed on to other parts of the body. From this phase, the cancer progresses to the remaining stages and metastasizes. Thanks to new findings and development in breast cancer research, the severity of this health disorder has considerably reduced and women are finding it easier to cope with breast cancer.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer Symptoms
Observing symptoms of the initial stage of breast cancer is indicative of the presence of this deadly disease in the body. So how can one identify the signs and symptoms of breast cancer? Here are some of the symptoms of the beginning stage of breast cancer.
* One of the early symptoms of breast cancer is noticing the growth of a hard lump. This lump can appear anywhere on the breast and can be felt while taking bath or during self-examination.
* Another sign of breast cancer, as this disease progresses is shrinking of the skin around the nipples. The areola may become pale and begin to resemble a lemon or orange peel.
* Fluid secretions, sometimes traced with blood, is also another breast cancer symptom. The secretions can appear at any point of time and as the cancer metastasizes, the amount increases.
* Other symptoms exhibited during stage 1 are unexplained weight loss, fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite, etc.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
The breast cancer prognosis can be decided taking a few factors, like age and health condition of the patient, metastasis of cancer, and response of the patient to the treatment provided, into consideration. A positive streak about stage 1 breast cancer prognosis is that a person can get cured completely if it is diagnosed and breast cancer treatment is provided on time.
* Chemotherapy is opted to destroy the cancerous cells and curb their spread. Radiation may also be administered to kill the harmful tissue.
* Lumpectomy, which is the surgical removal of the tumor is also carried out to completely discard the lump from the breast. However, if the entire breast has been affected, then the patient may have to undergo mastectomy, or removal of the breast.
* Modern approaches like hormone therapy and biological therapy have come into existence to prevent the formation of cancer triggering protein. This treatment option is still experimental.
The stage 1 breast cancer survival rates, for five years, is 100 percent, given the fact that it is diagnosed and treated on time. Unfortunately, the stage 4 cancer survival rate is poor, as during this stage the cancer has completely metastasized throughout the body. Though occurrence of breast cancer is unavoidable, one can take necessary precautions to prevent this life-threatening disease. Timely diagnosis can help cure this disease completely.