Breast cancer claims more lives every year than any other cancer type in women. It is more prevalent in developed countries. Just like the others, it is also classified in four phases, depending upon the size of tumor and metastasis of the cells. Stage 2 breast cancer is a fairly early phase, and thus seems to offer myriad treatment options to the patients and an excellent survival rate.
This stage is characterized by a tumor of minimum size 2 cm, and a possible invasion to axillary lymph nodes. Depending upon these two factors, it is again subdivided into two 2A and 2B. The former is characterized by following conditions:
- No tumor, but the cells can be detected in the axillary lymph nodes. OR
- A tumor of size 2 cm or less in the bust area, which has begun to spread to lymph nodes. OR
- A tumor of size 2 to 5 cm in the bust, which has not spread to lymph nodes.
On the similar lines, a woman is said to have entered the latter category when,
- There is a tumor of size 2 to 5 cm, which has spread to lymph nodes. OR
- A large tumor of size 5 cm or more in the bust that has not yet spread to lymph nodes.
Prognosis is primarily based upon the spread of the cells and how well the person responds to treatments. Under average circumstances, life expectancy at this phase is excellent. A 5 year survival rate for 2A is 88%, while that for 2B is 76%. The survival rate is a figure indicating how many women in a particular phase can make it well past a 5 year mark. However, one should not get alarmed by these figures, as it is only a referential inference drawn from general survey. Besides, a 5 year survival rate does not necessarily mean that the woman will live only for 5 years. Many women, even in stage 3 and 4 outlive the survival rates. Women suffering from the second phase can live a long and healthy life.
At this juncture, a woman can explore quite a number of treatment options. If the tumor is limited only to the chest region, then a surgery can be performed to remove the tumor. In case of a larger tumor, a chemotherapy is often recommended before surgery to shrink the tumor. A smaller tumor can be easily removed by a lumpectomy. If the disease has spread to lymph nodes, then a mastectomy or lumpectomy is often the only option available. Surgery is followed with radiation, which kills the cells that might have missed during a surgery.
A chemotherapy cycle follows to ensure that the body is free of any cells. As the chemotherapy affects the whole body, you can be certain that you are free of this disease. A common problem is that this ailment tends to recur within a span of 20 years. With phase 2, you have 50% chances of recurrence. However, if you only have small tumor, confined to the bust alone, then recurrence chances drop to 33%. Recurrence can be monitored and controlled through regular screenings.
Thus, breast cancer at stage 2 can be controlled and eradicated with a combination of treatments. A strong will power and positive attitude goes a long way in fighting against this disease.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.