What do you know about stage two breast cancer?

What do you know about breast cancer stage two? Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women and has several stages. In this article, you can learn the most crucial details about this stage.

What do you know about stage two breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the second stage of the early stages of breast cancer, so what are the specifics of this stage of cancer? The stages of cancer indicate the extent of their size and spread, and determining the stage helps determine the appropriate treatment that the patient needs.

Stage II breast cancer 

A more advanced form of the disease, stage II breast cancer, is characterised by a tumour that is larger than in stage I, measuring between 2 and 5 centimetres, and the possibility that it has spread to the lymph nodes under the armpit on the same side.

It is important to receive early treatment that prevents damage and yields a more favourable outcome because at this stage, the cancer cells have spread beyond the original site to the surrounding breast tissue. However, this does not mean that the cancer has spread to numerous and distant parts of the body.

Stage II breast cancer groups

Stage II breast cancer is divided into two groups, namely: 

1. First group (2a) 

It consists of one of the following: 

  • Although there isn't a lump in the breast, the lymph nodes under the armpit do contain cancerous cells.
  • 2 centimetres or less in size, with 1-3 lymph nodes under the armpit containing cancerous cells
  • There are no cancerous cells in the lymph nodes under the armpit, and the breast tumour is between 2 and 5 centimetres in size.

2. The second group (2b)

It consists of one of the following: 

  • The lymph nodes beneath the armpit are also affected by the cancerous breast tumour, which can range in size from 2 to 5 centimetres.
  • There are no cancerous cells in the lymph nodes under the armpit, and the tumour is larger than 5 centimetres.

Stage II breast cancer classification system 

The stages of cancer are classified based on the international system (Tumor-Node-Metastasis) to determine the size of the tumor, its access to the lymph nodes, and its spread to other parts of the body. The second stage is how breast cancer is categorised, as shown in the following table:

Stage 2a: T0, N1, M0

having no tumour in the breast tissue but having cancerous cells in the lymph nodes nearby

Stage 2a: T1, N1, M0

a 2 cm or smaller tumour that has at least one lymph node involved

Stage 2a: T2, N0, M0

The tumour is between 2 and 5 centimetres in size, but no lymph nodes were impacted.

Stage 2b: T2, N1, M0

The tumour is 2 to 5 centimetres in size and has affected nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 2b: T3, N0, M0

The tumour is larger than 5 centimetres, but it has not spread to any lymph nodes or to the chest wall.

Methods of treating breast cancer in the second stage

The lymph nodes under the patient's armpit are ultrasound-examined to see if they contain cancer cells, and if so, a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes is performed to determine the best course of action. The following treatments are available for breast cancer in the second stage:

  • surgery

It is the accepted course of action for breast cancer in stage II. Either the cancerous area is removed within the limits of the normal breast tissue, which is called wide local excision surgery, or the entire breast is removed and removed.

  • Radiation therapy 

It is used to treat both breast and underarm lymph nodes after a local mastectomy for stage II breast cancer.

In cases where lymph nodes have been affected by cancer after a stage II complete mastectomy, this treatment option is also an option.

  • Chemotherapy 

If the tumour is larger than 5 centimetres or if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm and around the breastbone, it may be given prior to surgery for stage II breast cancer.

  • hormonal therapy 

If a patient's breast cancer has oestrogen receptors, hormone therapy is offered after surgery. Depending on the patient's medication regimen and overall health, hormone therapy may last for five years or longer.

Side effects of breast cancer treatment

All treatments have side effects on the patient, ranging from mild to severe; most of them go away after treatment is over, but some of them may last permanently. The following are some of the most noticeable side effects of stage 2 breast cancer treatment:

  • nausea.
  • hair loss
  • mouth ulcers
  • Anorexia.
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • Redness and peeling of the skin.
  •  Swelling around the area being treated.
  • hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness . 

Stage II breast cancer treatment success rate

The prognosis for stage 2 breast cancer is typically favourable, which is good news considering that the 5-year survival rate for those who are diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer is as follows:

  • 99% in cases of locally contained breast cancer that has not spread externally.
  • 86% of women with breast cancer who have lymph node-positive disease.

There is a minimum five-year follow-up period with the oncologist after treatment for breast cancer in the second stage.

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