Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and stress will certainly be felt when diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer by a doctor. However, try stay calm and enthusiastic, because the chances of healing will be higher if treatment is carried out early and appropriately.
Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast glands undergo changes and continue to divide uncontrollably to form tumors.
The severity of this disease is determined by how big the size of the tumor that forms in the breast and how quickly the cancer cells spread to other organs and nearby lymph nodes.
Signs and Symptoms of Stage 2 Breast Cancer
The grades used by doctors to describe the condition of breast cancer start from stages 0–4.
If you are diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, it means the cancer cells have grown, but have not spread to other organs. These cells are only present in the breast or have recently spread to lymph nodes near the breast.
Stage 2 breast cancer is divided into two, namely stage 2A and 2B. Stage 2A breast cancer is generally characterized by symptoms of a tumor in the breast that is 2 cm or smaller. Cancer cells have also been found in lymph nodes in the armpit or near the breastbone.
However, there are times when there is no tumor in the breast. However, doctors have detected the presence of cancer in three lymph nodes that are under the armpit or adjacent to the breastbone.
Stage 2A can also be characterized by the presence of a tumor in the breast measuring 2–5 cm. However, doctors have not found any spread of cancer in the lymph nodes.
Meanwhile, in stage 2B breast cancer, possible signs and symptoms that can arise from this stage cancer include:
- The presence of a tumor measuring 2-5 cm along with cancer cells that spread in one or three lymph nodes under the arm or near the breastbone.
- The tumor is more than 5 cm in size, but there is no swelling of the nearby lymph nodes.
- Found a tumor measuring 2-5 cm in the breast and cancer cells that have clustered in the lymph nodes.
Steps for Handling Breast Cancer
There are several treatment steps that are generally taken to overcome stage 2 breast cancer experienced. Treatment measures aim to prevent the cancer from progressing to a more advanced stage.
The following are some of the medical steps you need to take to fight stage 2 breast cancer:
If the tumor is still relatively small, you can undergo breast conservation surgery or lumpectomy. This surgery only removes the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue.
However, if your tumor is large and aggressive, a mastectomy or breast removal may be necessary. After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery can be performed to improve the appearance of the breasts.
Chemotherapy can be done before and after you have surgery. When performed before surgery, chemotherapy aims to reduce the size of the tumor. This is done to avoid surgical removal of the breast entirely or mastectomy surgery.
Chemotherapy is done after surgery aims to destroy cancer cells that have not been removed completely. During chemotherapy, the drug will be introduced into the body through the blood vessels which consists of several cycles. Chemotherapy can also be done by taking chemotherapy drugs in pill form.
4. Radiation therapy
This therapy can eradicate cancer cells that have not been removed after lumpectomy surgery is performed. Radiation therapy can also be done if you have had a mastectomy, especially if your tumor is large or cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes.
5. Hormone therapy
Some types of breast cancer can become active due to the influence of hormones. If you have active cancer hormone receptors, you may be able to undergo hormone therapy. Hormone therapy drugs can prevent tumors from interacting with these hormones.
If you have not experienced menopause, you are advised to have your ovaries removed to stop hormone production or you can also take drugs that can prevent the ovaries from releasing hormones.
Try to stay calm and don't despair when diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It is estimated that a patient with stage 2 breast cancer has a 90 percent chance of surviving and living within 5 years.
This means that, with proper treatment, it is estimated that around 90 out of 100 people with stage 2 breast cancer are still alive after 5 years of being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
Therefore, you are advised to consult a doctor if there are signs or symptoms that point to stage 2 breast cancer. The earlier breast cancer is detected and treated, the success rate of treatment will also be higher.