Breast Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

22. Before treatment begins, I have heard that the doctor will stage the cancer. What is staging?

Once breast cancer has been found, it is staged. Staging means determining how far the cancer has progressed. Through staging, the doctor can tell if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body. More tests may be performed to help determine the stage. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment. Staging will let the doctor know

  • the size of the tumor and exactly where it is in the breast.
  • if the cancer has spread within the breast.
  • if cancer is present in the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • If cancer is present in other parts of the body.

Read more details about the stages of breast cancer.