Breast cancer is a chief health issue for women. More than 170000 cases of breast cancer are identified each year. The chances of patients surviving breast cancer is something that depends on the stage of diagnosis. The rate of survival for patients with stage 2 breast cancer is roughly 80%.
The development of cancer is described by the stage at which it has been detected. There are 4 stages of cancer and each of them has a specific description. The second stage or Type 2 breast cancer is not as threatening as the last or advanced stage of Type 4. Type 2 is also known as invasive type 2 breast cancer.
Types of Stage 2 Breast Cancer
This stage is divided into 2 classes – Type 2 A and Type 2 B. in the former, tumors may be present or may not be. There may be cancer cells existing in the axillary lymph nodes under the armpits.
The size of the tumors which are found in this stage may be less than 2 cm to over 2 cm although the size does not exceed 5 cm. the cancer cells may or may not spread to the lymph nodes.
Treatment for Stage 2 Breast Cancer
At this stage, the cancer is still restricted to within the breast and at times in the adjacent lymph nodes. Some treatments may help. Some women may survive for 8 years with stage 2 breast cancer but the chances are about 70%. This does not mean that the women will live only for 8 years.
Doctors diagnose the success rate for the treatment of cancer on the basis of the patients’ condition 5 or 10 years post treatment. A blend of treatments is usually used.
1. Surgery: Surgery is the standard form of treatment. Small tumors may be dealt with a lumpectomy where the tumor is removed with some neighboring tissues. If you have a larger tumor, you may require a mastectomy or have the entire breast removed. In both cases, a few lymph nodes are eliminated. The mastectomy is followed by breast reconstruction.
2. Radiation: Radiation is common with women who opt for lumpectomy. It eradicates the cancer cells which the surgery missed. Some women having stage 2 cancers getting a mastectomy may have to go for radiation, especially if the tumor was large.
3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often applied after surgery for breast cancer. The treatment may destroy any of the remaining cancer cells which were missed during surgery.
Chemotherapy may also be used as neo-adjuvant therapy which works towards shrinking the tumor. In that case, the size of the tumor may diminish so that it can be removed in a lumpectomy.
4. Hormone Therapy: This is usually used in women with hormone receptor-positive cancer. Here, medicines are used to avert the tumor from receiving the hormone which is required for its growth.
The drugs used are tamoxifen for pre menopausal women and the fresh aromatase inhibitors such as Femara, Aromasi and Arimidex for postmenopausal women.
Those who have not yet reached their menopause can remove their ovaries to prevent them from secreting the hormone that allow the cancer to grow. Women with stage 2 breast cancer can also go for drugs like Zoladex or Lupron to prevent their ovaries from secreting the hormone estrogen.
5. Biological Therapy: This is considered as a new approach. Around ¼ of women affected with breast cancer secrete the protein called HER2 in excess. This is responsible for the rapid spreading of the cancer. Such cancer is HER2-positive and is known as metastatic breast cancer. It can be treated with the drug Herceptin.
The drug prevents the protein from encouraging the growth of the cancer and helps make chemotherapy successful. The therapy is usually used by combining it with chemotherapy. Recent studies have proved the treatment to be effective in the treatment of stage 1 breast cancer.
6. Clinical Trials: Women having stage 2 breast cancer often opt for clinical trials which allow access to state of the art treatment options. Today, clinical trials incorporate new drugs, treatments and combinations which are immensely successful.
Dramatic improvements have taken place in the last decade in the field of curing Type 2 breast cancer. Women have survived well beyond 8 years with this type of cancer. Hence, do not let statistics take the better of you. Remember that living with breast cancer can be long and rewarding.