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Ela's avatar

What is stage three breast cancer?

Asked by Ela (6496points) February 12th, 2012

My best friend just told me she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last week. She will need to have a mastectomy and is going in this week to prep for chemo and radiation treatment which she thought will start in Oct/Nov.

What does it mean when it is at stage 3 and has already reached the lymph nodes?

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10 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes, it is in the lymph nodes.

There are 3 categorizations for Stage 3 breast cancer, so it’s difficult for me to say what part of Stage 3 she has.

Obviously, it’s great that the cancer was found and is being treated ASAP.

Ela's avatar

@SpatzieLover Thank you. She said they did not ask the stage (the doctor just told them) so I don’t know if it is A,B, or C. My gut tells me it is C though.

SpatzieLover's avatar

We have had several dear family friends get diagnosed with cancer in the past couple of years. So far, the Stage 5 friend with Ovarian cancer isn’t cured, but she is surviving well.

There is a grieving process that you and your friend will go through. Prepare your shoulder for the coming days she’ll need it.

Ela's avatar

“The five-year survival rate for Stage 3 breast cancer is approximately 54 and 67 percent.”
They are opting to not get a prognosis.
Thank you for the link.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@EnchantingEla Not getting a prognosis seems typical (at least from all of the situations I know of). It’s difficult for family members and friends to not be informed of every detail possible, though.

In the case of the friend with ovarian cancer, her adult daughters were all on the Net discussing back & forth all possible treatments. She & her husband went to the Drs. office together. Neither wanted to inform their kids of the prognosis.

Another friend with pancreatic cancer didn’t want to even tell her adult sons at all, because she knew they wouldn’t handle it well. They handled it fine. She’s now in remission.

EDIT: I think this is typical as a stage of denial at the diagnosis.

Ela's avatar

Thank you so much for your help. She’s my bestest friend in the whole world. I’m not doing very well right now. I have a really bad feeling about this.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Did she have absolutely no warning signs, no symptoms all this time, that “something” that says all is not well? I hope all goes well.

Dog's avatar

My mom has stage 4 cancer which has been diagnosed as either mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. (Do not ask. Apparently this is hard to determine sometimes.)

Regardless there are things you need to know:

1. It is not necessarily a death sentence. She is here. She is alive and fighting.

2. She has a lot to offer in life.

3. Think outside the box if she needs it. As an example medical marijuana has given my mom a quality of life I had not expected.

4. Just being there for her rocks.


6. Just because the medical profession says “it is so” does not mean it is.
My mom was sent home to die in August. Right now she is still alive and pain-free. Her life is relatively NORMAL. She has out-lived one doctor who told her she would be dead by now.

Bolster up your strength, lock arms with her and march forward. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The journey is one that you will NEVER regret.

Rarebear's avatar

Right. People can do well.

Ela's avatar

No history or warning. She felt something, went in and they found a cyst. They found the cancer behind it. Thank you for your replies.

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