Stage 3 Breast Cancer: Understanding Your Diagnosis and Treatment Options

There are many breast cancer treatment options available to you, but your treatment recommendations will be based on your specific medical issues. When you meet your care team at the breast cancer treatment facility, you’ll discuss the exact type and stage of breast cancer you have. There are four stages of breast cancer and the higher the number is, the more advanced the cancer is. breast - cancer

Understanding Your Diagnosis

Patients with stage III breast cancer have tumors that have grown larger and have potentially spread to nearby tissues, such as the underlying muscle or the lymph nodes. This is an advanced stage of breast cancer, but it’s important to note that the disease has not yet spread to distant parts of the body. This means that it’s more treatable compared to stage IV breast cancer.

Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

You might have chemotherapy at a breast cancer center as your first course of treatment. When chemotherapy is done before surgery, it is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Its goal is to shrink the size of the tumor. If the tumor shrinks enough, you may be able to have breast-conserving surgery. Otherwise, your oncologist may advise you to have a mastectomy. In some cases, chemotherapy may be administered after surgery. Some patients undergo multiple courses of chemotherapy and combinations of different anti-cancer drugs.

Undergoing Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery involves removing the part of the breast that contains the tumor. A mastectomy refers to the removal of the entire breast. Sometimes, both breasts are removed. Because stage III breast cancer often includes the involvement of the lymph nodes in the area, surgeons will usually perform an axillary lymph node dissection or removal. The oncologist at the breast cancer center can coordinate your care with the cancer surgeon.

Getting Radiation Treatments

If your oncologist recommends radiation therapy after you undergo surgery, then it’s likely you’ll be asked to wait to have breast reconstruction surgery. Your first appointment is a simulation. Its purpose is to plan your radiation treatment. You’ll receive a very tiny, dot-like tattoo. This allows the radiologist to aim the beam precisely at the target area. The process of getting patients into the proper position for radiation treatment takes longer than the actual treatment because precision is crucial.

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Why Choose Us?

  • Individual and specialized care
  • State of the art medicine and treatments
  • Dr Stanley Walker is not only an oncologist but he teaches medical students and residents