Be Aware About Breast Cancer: Stages and Symptoms

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z


Women are prone to a lot of diseases pertaining to their immune and body complexities. One of them is Breast Cancer. The recent times have seen a lot of instances where women of all ages have faced the issue. Every year WHO takes steps to spread awareness regarding the disease to make sure more and more women can be saved.


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What is Breast Cancer?


Breast cancer develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the ducts or lobules of the breast. Lobules are the glands that are responsible to produce milk, and ducts are the path that brings the milk from the glands to the nipple. This Cancer can also occur in the fibrous connective tissue or fatty tissue within your breast.


The uncontrolled cancer cells often occupy the other healthy breast tissue which can move to the lymph nodes under your arms. The lymph nodes are a primary track that helps the cancer cells to travel to other body parts.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer:


Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in the early stage. In most cases, a tumor can be small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on an x-ray. If a tumor can be felt, the most common sign is a new lump in the breast that was not there earlier. However, all lumps are not cancer.


  • A breast lump
  • Pitted skin over your breast
  • Swelling in part of your breast
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Scaling, peeling, or flaking of skin on your nipple or breast
  • Change in the size or shape of your breast
  • Swelling of arms


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What are the Stages of Breast Cancer?


Stage 1


Again it is categorized into two types:


Stage 1A: The first tumor is wide in 2 centimeters, and the lymph nodes are less affected.


Stage 1B: In this stage, cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes, and the lymph is either negligible in the breast, or it is smaller than 2 centimeters.


Stage 2


Again it is divided into two categories:


Stage 2A: Here, the cancer tumor is either smaller than 2 centimeters and has spread to 1 to 3 nearby lymph nodes, or it’s between 2 to 5 centimeters and hasn’t spread to any lymph.


Stage 2B: In this stage, the tumor is between 2 to 5 centimeters and has spread to armpit lymph nodes, or it’s larger than 5 centimeters and doesn’t spread to any lymph nodes.


Stage 3


There are three main stages of stage 3 breast cancer.


Stage 3A: The tumor is bigger than 5 centimeters in dimension and a small number of cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes.


Stage 3B: A tumor has spread in the skin or chest wall and can or can not have spread up to 9 lymph nodes.


Stage 3C: In this stage, cancer is found in 10 or more armpit lymph nodes, this lymph is near to the collarbone or internal mammary nodes.


Stage 4: This stage can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes and the organs both.


Cancer is the word that can scare anyone, and it’s spreading all over the world very rapidly. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. Awareness is very essential to prevent this cancer. You need to self examine yourself at least twice a year, and if you find any lymph or any other changes in your breast then consult to your doctor, timely treatment is the only way to cure it.


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