Whenever anyone is diagnosed with cancer, you often hear discussion about the "stage" it is in.
Stage 1 is the best and Stage 4 is the worst.
But just what do those stages mean? Here are the definitions of the stages as they apply to breast cancer, according to breatheknowgo.com:
Stage 1 - The earliest stage of invasive breast cancer, meaning cancer has grown or spread into nearby or surrounding breast tissue. Tumor is 2cm (approximately the size of a peanut) or smaller. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 2 - Tumor may have started to grow up to 5cm (approximately the size of a lime) and sometimes larger. Cancer may or may not start to appear in the lymph nodes.
Stage 3 - Cancer has usually spread to lymph nodes.
Stage 4 - This stage means the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. It is also referred to as “metastatic.”