Yes, the different stages do matter with regards to treatment and outcome.
This should give you an idea of how they matter.
Once a patient has reached Stage 3 breast cancer, the odds start to decline at a far more rapid rate. There are distinct levels of severity within Stage 3 breast cancer. These levels are divided into three separate categories.
When receiving a diagnosis of Stage 3A breast cancer, a woman likely has a tumor that measures up to 5 cm in diameter. In addition, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit. The cancer in the lymph nodes has likely joined together and/or is attached to other structures within the breast, armpit and collarbone region. Another diagnosis garnering a Stage 3A diagnosis includes a tumor that is larger than 5 cm but has spread only to the lymph nodes in the armpits.
A diagnosis of Stage 3B breast cancer indicates the presence of a tumor of about 5 cm that has spread to tissues that may include the skin, chest wall, chest muscles and ribs. It may also indicate that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes along the breast bone inside of the chest.
Stage 3C breast cancer is broken into two distinct categories: operable and inoperable. A diagnosis of Stage 3C breast cancer means the cancer has spread to lymph nodes found beneath the collarbone and in the area of the neck. This is categorized as operable. It may also have spread to the lymph nodes located within the breast itself, as well as underneath the arm and in tissues that are near the breast region. This may be categorized as inoperable.
Since I fall into that category too it makes me a little uncomfortable to put this out there but I know doctors don't always want to tell us what is really going on. I asked my oncologist what my odds were and he started squirming big time and then fed me some candy coated BS lol
I chose double mastectomy to remove as much breast tissue as I could. My first was a radical mastectomy taking half of my chest muscle. The second was prophyllactic and that breast had two masses in it but came back with clear pathology .
I'm glad you're doing so well after your treatment! Welcome to the community and I hope you become a regular contributor to our site. :)
I just said in my comment above that I was 3b, but I was actually 3c, as all diagnosed with IBC are, unless the cancer has already spread. I guess I use both b and c interchangeably since i also don't know the difference.
Know this isn't very helpful, sorry!
Hi, I cannot believe I did not see your staging before. I was sure I read your post but went back as I could not remember? Getting old. Thanks, kat
I am also a 3C with 19 of 19 nodes positive and some subpectoral nodes that were not resectible.
My onc would not give me much information because I have an occult tumor and he cannot run the stats.
You are C because of more than 10 nodes. Pubmed has some info on more than 10 nodes.
my mom is on stage 3c also she havent gone yet into any treatment. do you think there is still any sense to go into operation. she have this so called hypoechoid nodule and interstitial lung disease