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Stage vs. Grade.
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Stage vs. Grade.

Can someone please explain this to me? I got the pathology results yesterday. I'm a Grade III.  Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

It doesn't say what Stage.  I thought Stage and Grade were the same thing, but from what Im reading, I don't think so.

What exactly do these two terms mean? From what Im understanding, Grade is how invasive it is, while Stage is how far it has progressed, is that correct?

What are the survival rates for these?

Thank you.
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1375874_tn?1278776077
Grade is how fast the cells are proliferating and how different the look from normal cells so grade 3 is high but high grade cells respond very well to chemo so don't be discouraged. The stage takes in many factors such as tumor size and lymph node involvement and grade. If you look at your path report and let me know tumor size lymph involvement and is your tumor Estrogen ,progesterone ,or Her2neu positive or negative I can probably help you estimate your stage which will give you a better idea of prognosis. I am not a doc but have done extensive research on the subject.My mother has a rare form so I have learned all this info to help her. Feel free to email me back and I will try to help you decode everything. :)
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Okay.. the tumor size says:

Greatest dimension of largest focus of invasion, over 0.1cm: 1.2 cm
Additional dimensions: 1.0 x 0.7

Speciman size says:

Greatest dimension: 6.0cm
Additional dimensions: 5.2 x 2.2 cm

It also has this:

COMMENT: Invasive carcinoma extends to the surgical resection margin.
Margins intact, can be evaluated. Margin positive for invasive carcinoma.

Lymphnodes were not tested as no samples were taken. (They plan to do that when they do the mastectomy to test).

And this stuff " is your tumor Estrogen ,progesterone ,or Her2neu positive or negative",,, I think they sent that out for more testing... ?  It says:

Ancillary Studies: Block A-11 is sent for ER/PR and Her2/neu.

All of this is greek to me... does it make any sense to you?

Thanks for you help!!
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1375874_tn?1278776077
You will  definitly know more after they remove the tumour and do more testing. By the size of your tumour it would be classified under T2 or T3 which could fall under stage 2 which is still very cureable . If the tumor is positive for Estrogen and or progesterone that is a Good thing because there is a drug tamoxifen that you can take to prevent a reoccurance. If it is positive for her2neu they also have a drug that can prevent reoccurance called herpcetin that is showing promise in preventing reoccurance. Also if there is no lymph node involvement that will be even more promising.The margin is how far the tumor is invading surrounding tissue.It sounds like you have a good prognosis especially if there is none or very little lymph node involvment. I wish you all the best .I hoped have helped you some and feel free to email me if you have any other questions and I would be glad to try to help.
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Okay... I found that T thing... here it is under the title "Pathological Staging (pTNM)"

Primary Tumor (pT) : pT1c; tumor greater than 10mm but less than 20mm in greatest dimension
Regional Lymph Nodes (pN) : pNX; regional lymph nodes cannot be accessed
Distant Metastasis (M) : Not applicable.

So it's T1.
pNX I'm guessing because they didn't take lymph nodes when they did the partial mastectomy, so they can't test them until the next surgery where they said they would.
and M is not applicable because, why? I don't know. I don't understand that one at all.....
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1375874_tn?1278776077
From what I understand it is not applical because no tests were performed to check for that since they have not checked your lymph nodes yet. Odds are if very little or no lymph node involvement they would have no reason to suspect that it had spread beyond your breast. Pt1c is what my mother had that means that the tumour  is under 2cm from my understanding and that is a very good thing. Don't let that M scare you it just means that they had no other tissue to check for that or reason to. Once you get your nodes tested you will have a better idea of prognosis but from what you have told me it sounds very promising. I wish you tons of good luck with your other tests ,and If I can answer any other questions for you I would be glad too.
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962875_tn?1314213636
The grade and stage of cancer are completely different things.  

The TNM staging cannot be completed this early in the evalution process.
The T number refers to tumor size.
The N number refers to the number and location of nodes with cancer spread.
The M number refers to distant metastases.
When the evaluation is complete, all of these findings will be combined to determine the stage (or how far advanced the cancer is).

The grade of the tumor is determined through the pathology examination, and reflects how aggressive the cancer cells are.

You have already learned that you cancer is grade 3. Once the TNM stage is known, your oncologist will be able to make treatment recommendations and discuss your prognosis with you.

Best wishes...
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