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Understanding the Stages of Breast Cancer

Understanding the Stages of Breast Cancer

This week the organization will be discussing different stages of breast cancer and differential diagnosis. Staging is a process used to find out whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. When cancer starts to spread through different parts of the body it is called metastasis. There are three main ways cancer can spread throughout the body. Cancer can spread through the tissue, the lymph system, and the blood. These three different tissues are all in an internetworking system, where malignant cells can transfer genetic material (DNA) to other cells of different organs & organ systems composed of different tissues. Cancer cells can break away from where they began (the primary tumor) and travel through these two systems called the lymph system or blood. Breast cancer can be further identified in smaller sub-groups and stages.

Breast cancer can be classified into these three groups called clinical prognostic stage, pathological prognostic stage, and anatomic stage. The clinical prognostic stage is clinicians can assign a stage for patients based on health, history, physical exam, imaging tests, and biopsies. The pathological prognostic stage is for patients who have surgery as their first treatment. This stage is based on all clinical information, biomarker (measurable substance in an organism) status, and laboratory test results from the breast tissue and the lymph nodes during surgery, the tissue is extracted from the body to do a biopsy (examination of tissue). The last stage is the anatomic stage, and it is based on the size and the spread of cancer. Understanding these key factors on how this disease works, how it can spread, and the different stages will better prepare women to take advantage of their health.

Within the BGH community, we find it imperative that our audience is educated on every aspect when it comes to their health, and understanding the basics of your body will give your more clarity on how certain disease and viruses act, so you can take upon yourself to prevent certain issues and make conscious decisions about your health.


Learn more about early detection and steps to prevention visit our partner Genentech.  If you’d like to get involved in this diseases join Black Girl Health Foundation’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, I’m A Survivor.



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