When breast cancer is detected at its earliest stage, then you can be diagnosed of a stage 1 breast cancer. This stage has the cancer cells still localized to the breasts of a woman. Here is some information you might be interested to look at about stage 1 breast cancer:
Stage 1 breast cancer is the earliest type of breast cancer
Among all the stages of invasive cancer, stage 1 is the earliest. This type is specifically described as a small tumor not greater than 2 cm and has no lymph node involvement yet.
It has the highest rate of survival
Among all the stages of invasive breast cancer, stage 1 has the highest survival rate of 98% in 5 years. This means that in a period of 5 years upon diagnosis, 98% of the patients still live. It does not necessarily mean that a patient can only live for 5 years as they can have better prognosis.
Stage 1 breast cancer is the most responsive to surgery
Surgery is often the first option given to patients diagnosed with this stage. Since there is still no metastasis of the cancer cells, a localized surgery is till possible. It can be in the form of lumpectomy which is considered a breast conserving therapy or partial Mastectomy removes both the tumor and the breast tissue surrounding it. A patient may also undergo total mastectomy where the whole breasts are removed except for the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes of a patient are involved, a modified radical mastectomy is done and breast reconstruction takes places after it.
Lumpectomy with radiation therapy is the treatment of choice
For stage 1 breast cancer, a lumpectomy is commonly done where only the lump is removed from the breast. Since the tumor is only an inch big, a lumpectomy is still possible. However, since surgery cannot completely eradicate the cancer cells, it is supported by radiation therapy for 6 to 8 weeks.
Hormonal therapy can work for stage 1 breast cancer
If the tumor has a hormone receptor, then hormonal therapy can be done. In a hormonal therapy, the production of estrogen is inhibited or minimized so as to prevent the further enlargement of the tumor. A very common drug is Tamoxifen as an estrogen inhibitor.