STAGE 2 BREAST CANCER
Stage 2 breast cancer describes the progression of cancer cells either in the breast or in the lymph nodes situated quite close to the breast, or both. I know this sounds like Stage 1, but the difference is to do with the size, or the degree of cancer cell spread.
THERE ARE TWO STAGES TO STAGE 2.
Stage 2A is like Stage 1 PLUS a few lymph nodes. It can include either,
Stage 2B starts to describe larger tumors so it could include either of the following.
IS STAGE 2 CURABLE?
Stage 2 IS DEFINITELY TREATABLE, but you don’t have time to delay your decisions. When I asked the breast doctor what might happen to me if I ignored my 2.5cm tumor that had spread into my lymph nodes, I was told that I would have between 6 – 18 months to live.
I’m not trying to scare you or encourage you to follow me into a chemical route for your treatment. To be honest, I was like a rabbit in headlights. I couldn’t think straight about alternative treatments and lost confidence very quickly about looking for different options to chemotherapy. I really did not want to take chemotherapy, but I found myself going along the conveyor belt in the end.
I don’t know why but all I could think about was either taking the treatment or completely ignoring it. What I can tell you is that if you want to survive, whatever route you choose,
YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY EVEN IF IT’S JUST TO GO OUT AND GET MORE INFORMATION BEFORE YOU DECIDE. BUT DON’T SIT ON THE NEWS WAITING FOR YOUR TUMOR TO GROW FROM STAGE 2 TO STAGE 3 BECAUSE IT WILL!
By all means, take time to get as many tests as you need like a genetic test or a second opinion BUT TAKE ACTION!
Treatment for stage 2 cancers involve either
Lymph nodes could be checked and removed too. When I came out of surgery, I think 14 of my lymph nodes had been removed. I was shocked but still living.
The surgery was so straightforward, I was a little bit weak but honestly, I felt as if I could’ve got the bus home. I didn’t. A condition of surgery at Kings College Hospital was that you had to have someone come and collect you.
CHEMOTHERAPY was next for me. I’m not going to lie to you, I was afraid of it. I’d heard so many awful stories I hated it even before the first injection. It’s not a great experience. My pee turned pink, I lost my sense of taste, I felt like I was walking around with liquid metal inside of me, and my hair fell out after the second session. If you don’t have better ‘alternative’ methods to help you recover, you choose whether such symptoms are worth enduring to try and save your life without any guarantees.
RADIOTHERAPY was next. This was a strange experience because your skin is being burned and God knows what is inside of you, and yet, I never really felt a thing. A darker diamond shape just under my collar bone served to remind me and that stayed there for a year or so.
HORMONAL THERAPY is a course of medication that I am on for estrogen-related breast cancer.
Your breast cancer will be tested for the following receptors, and this will heavily influence the decisions you make about your treatment whether you have,
So once a biopsy is taken, ask your doctor about your receptor status before deciding upon your treatment.
Hormone Therapy will also depend upon,
STAGE 2 FROM A BLACK PERSPECTIVE
Stage 2A and 2B, may not necessarily fit the characteristics of breast tumors for African heritage women.
For example, a Black British study of 2008, found that black women not only developed breast cancer at a younger age, but those smaller tumors of 2 centimetres (cm) in young women, show very different behaviors across race/ethnicity. Tumors in younger women are considerably more aggressive in black women.
In a Caribbean analysis of reports (1975 – 2017), countries that reported stage 2 data at presentation included the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad.
In the Bahamas, late-stage 2 presentations were seen in 70% of cases, particularly in women aged under 40 years (95.5%).
In 2014, from that same Caribbean analysis, Trinidad and Tobago reported 640 cases of Stage 2A Breast Cancer as the most common stage.
Too many breast cancers in the US, the UK, Europe and Africa first present when tumors have already advanced to stage 3 and 4. Hence, I’ve found it difficult get information on stage 2 breast cancer tumors for African heritage women.
I’m very conscious of the fact that I felt unwell for 1 week, found a small lump at the end of that week then went for a mammogram a few days later. Within four weeks from the time, I felt sick, I was sitting in front of an oncologist being told that I probably had breast cancer. A biopsy was taken from me straight away and I was diagnosed as having stage 2 breast cancer.
WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE, ACT QUICKLY AND DON’T BE PUSHED AROUND IF YOU THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG. CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.