Stage 2 Breast Cancer Definition

Leading breast cancer expert Dr. Jay K. Harness defines stage 2 breast cancer and explains what it means for patients who are diagnosed with it.

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Jay K. Harness, MD: Stage 2 breast cancer is a step up in the system.  As I have said earlier, we have five stages 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.  So stage 2 breast cancer is a cancer that is one of a couple things, one, it can be a small cancer but the lymph node or nodes are positive or it can be a larger cancer in which actually the lymph nodes can be negative and so within the staging system, we talk about tumor size which is T and we have T1, T2, T3, T4.  Then also we talk about the lymph node status and it is you know N1, N2, etc., and whether there is any spread elsewhere in the body. So typically stage 2 breast cancer is, as I said a moment ago either a larger tumor that is lymph node negative like T2 and 0 or it could be T1c as an example versus N1.

Now, what is the treatment of stage 2 breast cancer?  I am going to be talking a lot more about that as we get into surgical options, as we get into adjuvant options including anti-hormonal therapy and chemotherapy as well as adjuvant options including radiation therapy.  So stage 2 breast cancer requires local regional control, it also requires treating the whole body and further details will be presented in subsequent videos.

Dr. Jay K. Harness is a board certified surgeon currently treating patients at St. Joesph Hospital in Orange, CA. Dr. Harness specializes in complete breast health, breast cancer surgery, oncoplastic reconstruction, genetic screening, management of breast health issues, risk assessment and counseling. Dr. Harness is the medical director for Breast Cancer Answers.com, and guides this first ever social media show’s information by drawing on his former leadership experience as the President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1969 and spent time early on in his career at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
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