sTAGE '3' BREAST CANCER

STAGE 3 BREAST CANCER

STAGE 3 describes the spread, depth, and/or size of cancer from the breast lymph nodes to,

  • The breast or,
  • The skin of the breast or,
  • The chest wall.

 

This is also known as ‘locally advanced breast cancer’ because it hasn’t gone anyway else in the body and METASTASIZED. 

 

STAGE 3 IS DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES IN A, B & C

 

STAGE 3A describes a few alternatives:

  • No visible tumour in the breast,
  • A visible tumor of any size is found AND cancer is found in 4 to 9 lymph glands under the arm OR in the lymph glands near the breastbone
  • The tumour is larger than 5cm and small clusters of breast cancer cells are in the lymph nodes
  • The tumour is more than 5cm and has spread into up to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit OR to the lymph nodes near the breastbone

 

STAGE 3B is more serious and includes when,

  • The tumour has spread to the skin of the breast or the chest wall (the chest wall means the structures surrounding and protecting the lungs, such as the ribs, muscles, skin, or connective tissues).
  • The cancer has broken the skin (an ulcer) or has caused swelling. The cancer may have spread to up to 9 LYMPH NODES in the armpit OR to the lymph nodes near the breastbone.
  • Cancer that has spread to the skin of the breast, might be an INFLAMMATORY breast cancer.

 

STAGE 3C is getting close to Stage 4 and includes,

  • When the tumour can be any size, OR there is no tumour at all BUT
  • There is cancer in the skin of the breast, causing swelling OR an ulcer, AND it has spread to the chest wall PLUS,
  • Cancer has also spread to one or more of the following structures:
  • 10 OR MORE LYMPH NODES in the armpit
  • Lymph nodes above or below the collar bone
  • Lymph nodes in the armpit and near the breastbone

 

TREATMENT

Stage 3 is divided into treatment that is either,

  • Operable or,
  • Not operable (this does not mean untreatable. It means there’s not enough healthy tissue needed to cut around the tumor)

 

NOT OPERABLE

  • Shrinking the tumor first could be an option
  • Then Surgery
  • Possibly Radiotherapy

 

STAGE 3 treatment options could be a mixture of several things. It might consist of a mastectomy and radiation for example. Plus, hormonal therapy and so on. The truth is there are so many variations I cannot describe any more than this. Remember, so much depends upon your own personal diagnosis, your personal history and your current state of health.

 

AN AFRICAN HERITAGE PERSPECTIVE

As a global pattern, more first generation Black African women are diagnosed with tumors larger that 5 cm and more metastatic disease, than other women.

This is, at least in part, due to:

  • A lack of access to good healthcare.
  • Doctors failing to take the health of black women as seriously as other women – causing delay and disease advancement and
  • Fear of the disease – causing delay and disease advancement.
  • Delayed diagnosis is synonymous with poor prognosis.

 

For black women as a general global pattern, 20.3% of STAGE 3 breast cancer is Triple-Negative (an aggressive form of breast cancer), compared to white women at 15.2%.

CARIBBEAN

In the Caribbean 44% of breast cancers presented are stage 3 / 4 and ESTROGEN POSITIVE.

  • Also, women born in the Caribbean have significantly worse survival rates compared to women born in the UK and the US independent of ethnic background.

 

  • Compared to African Caribbean women living in the UK and the US, the survival rate for women living in the Caribbean was significantly lower.

 

Once again, the suggestion is that biological, environmental and behavioral differences are behind the causes of breast cancer.

In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), 41% BC women from 22 countries diagnosed from 1966 to 2017 presented at stages III-IV, with a tendency of higher proportion in Caribbean cases than South American cases. Reasons for this remain unknown.

The high percentage of advanced STAGE 3/4 diagnosis in LAC contrasts sharply with the proportions observed among women from Western European countries. (Cureus, 2021)

 

  • The WHO (World Health Organisation) estimates 78% of 40 million people who need palliative care live in low – and middle-income (LMIC) countries, which includes 30% to 50% of patients present with advanced-stage BC diagnosis (3/4) in LAC.

 

  • High mortality is largely due to insufficient access to treatment and patients presenting with incurable advanced stages of the disease.

 

A breast cancer diagnosis can be associated with the following lack of support and disadvantages:

 

  • SOCIAL
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL,
  • FINANCIAL,
  • CAREER, and
  • SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING

 

Thus, palliative care has been widely acknowledged to offer HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT and relief of such serious health-related suffering among patients with serious illnesses, typically cancer, as well as attending to the patient, his or her family, and end-of-life care.

The Breast Health Global Initiative, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology have proposed THE INTEGRATION OF PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES THAT ARE ALIGNED WITH LOCAL NEEDS AND RESOURCES TO PROVIDE A STATEGY THAT IS CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE (Cureus, 2021).

 

HAITI

In Haiti, breast cancer presents at an earlier age and at an advanced stage. More than half (53.8%) of the BC cases were in women aged 40-59 years at diagnosis (median 49 years), 49.2% premenopausal women, and 83.9% of cases diagnosed at STAGE 3/4.

 

BODY MASS INDEX (BMI) did not seem to have an impact on disease-free survival among a cohort of Haitian women with breast cancer where 63% were either overweight or obese.

 

A COUPLE OF TESTIMONIES FROM THOSE THAT KNOW

 

ALSO SEE:

plans ahead

WATCH THIS SPACE

CONTACT

Join 'Your' Black Breast Cancer Newsletter

All rights reserved © Black Breast Cancer 2022 - Black Breast Cancer Limited Company 13788609