The 5 Stages of Breast Cancer and How It Is Treated

In 2023, Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer there is. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that in 2023, there will be over 280,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer types diagnosed in the United States alone. Understanding the stages of breast cancer and the available treatment options is crucial for early detection and effective management.

Identifying the breast cancer symptoms, and getting the appropriate remedial measures, is something that calls for the highest levels of expertise and precision. Visit a hospital in Gurgaon today that can provide the same.

Stage 0: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is an initial stage of breast cancer. In this stage, cancerous cells are confined to the milk ducts and have not yet invaded the surrounding breast tissues. DCIS is often considered non-invasive, but it is essential to treat it promptly to prevent it from progressing to a more advanced stage.

Treatment Options:

Lumpectomy: In many cases, the primary treatment for DCIS is a lumpectomy, where the surgeon removes the cancerous cells and a small margin of healthy tissue. This breast cancer treatment procedure aims at retaining as much of the breast as possible.

Radiation Therapy: After a lumpectomy, radiation therapy may be recommended to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence. The various breast cancer types must be understood before the breast cancer treatment processes are executed.

Hormone Therapy: If the cancer is hormone receptor-positive, hormone therapy may be recommended to block the hormones that fuel the cancer’s growth.

Stage I: Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer

Stage I breast cancer signifies that the cancer is small and localized, and it has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant organs. The tumour size is typically less than 2 centimetres in diameter.

Treatment Options:

Surgery: The primary treatment for Stage I breast cancer is surgery. Women can opt for a lumpectomy, where only the tumour and a small margin of healthy tissue are removed, or a mastectomy, which involves removing the entire breast.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: If a mastectomy is not performed, a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be done to determine whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Radiation Therapy: Following surgery, radiation therapy may be recommended to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

Chemotherapy: In some cases, chemotherapy may be recommended, especially if the cancer is hormone receptor-negative or has other high-risk features. The causes of breast cancer must be identified and understood before the treatment procedures are executed.

Stage II: Locally Advanced Invasive Breast Cancer

Stage II breast cancer is characterized by larger tumour size or the presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes of the axilla (armpit), but it has not spread to distant sites. Stage II is segregated into Stage IIA and Stage IIB.

Treatment Options:

Surgery: Surgery is the primary treatment for Stage II breast cancer. Depending on the breast cancer symptoms, a lumpectomy or mastectomy may be performed.

Lymph Node Dissection: If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, an axillary lymph node dissection may be recommended to remove affected lymph nodes.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is usually recommended after surgery to target any remaining cancer cells.

Chemotherapy: Depending on the tumour’s characteristics, chemotherapy may be prescribed before or after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Hormone Therapy: For hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, hormone therapy is often part of the treatment plan.

Stage III: Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

Stage III breast cancer indicates a larger tumour size with extensive lymph node involvement, but it has not spread to distant organs. Stage III is broken down into Stage IIIA, Stage IIIB, and Stage IIIC.

Treatment Options:

Neoadjuvant Therapy: In some cases, neoadjuvant chemotherapy or hormone therapy is administered before surgery to shrink the tumour and increase the likelihood of a successful surgical outcome. If you are looking for exceptional breast cancer treatment, visiting a hospital in Gurgaon would be a wise choice.

Surgery: After neoadjuvant therapy, surgery is performed to remove the remaining cancer. A mastectomy is often necessary at this stage. The causes of breast cancer are closely studied by doctors before the diagnostic and remedial procedures are initiated.

Lymph Node Dissection: Removal of affected lymph nodes may be required, and additional nodes may be tested during surgery to assess the extent of lymph node involvement.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is typically part of the breast cancer treatment plan to target any residual cancer cells.

Adjuvant Therapy: After surgery, additional chemotherapy or hormone therapy may be recommended to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Targeted Therapy: In cases where the cancer is HER2-positive, targeted therapies like trastuzumab (Herceptin) may be included in the treatment regimen. The breast cancer causes must be examined before the initiation of these procedures.

Stage IV: Metastatic Breast Cancer

Stage IV breast cancer, also known as metastatic or advanced breast cancer, has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. While Stage IV breast cancer is not curable, it can often be managed with ongoing treatment.

Treatment Options:

Systemic Therapy: The primary treatment approach for metastatic breast cancer is systemic therapy, which includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. The choice of treatment depends on the specific characteristics of the cancer.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy may be used to alleviate symptoms and manage metastases in specific areas, such as bone metastases.

Clinical Trials: Participation in clinical trials can provide access to innovative treatments and therapies under investigation.

Supportive Care: Patients with Stage IV breast cancer may require supportive care to manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and address emotional and psychological needs.


Breast cancer is a complex disease with multiple stages and types, each requiring a tailored breast cancer treatment approach. Early detection and timely treatment are essential for improving outcomes, and this involves monitoring the causes of breast cancer, as well as the breast cancer symptoms. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of their risk factors, perform regular breast self-exams, and undergo recommended screenings. If diagnosed, consult with a healthcare team to create a personalized treatment plan that considers the stage and specific characteristics of the cancer.

Don’t let breast cancer turn out to be a roadblock. Get in touch with a super-speciality hospital in Gurgaon today.