Stage 3 breast cancer is more advanced than stage 2 but is not considered metastatic. With stage 3, cancer has not spread from the breast to organs or other distant sites in the body. Instead, cancer cells are constrained to nearby axillary underarm lymph nodes or those beneath your sternum breastbone or clavicle collarbone. A stage 3 breast tumor can range in size from less than 2 centimeters to over 5 centimeters, but there are cases in which no tumor is found in breast tissue. Stage 3 is further classified by three scenarios—3A, 3B, and 3C—each of which describes, among other things, the number of axillary lymph nodes affected and whether those of the breastbone or collarbone are involved.
Comparison of Treatment Costs for Breast Cancer, by Tumor Stage and Type of Service
Locally Advanced Breast Cancer- Here's What You Need To Know About It
Metastatic breast cancer also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer is not a specific type of breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer not bone cancer. Men can also have metastatic breast cancer.
About advanced cancer
Advanced stage 4 breast cancer involves metastases, or the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body, which can cause several complications. These issues can vary depending on the sites affected and treatment used, but include a range of concerns from blood clots and muscle wasting to shortness of breath and seizures. Many of the possible complications of advanced breast cancer are treatable, and treatments are most effective when they are started sooner rather than later. In some cases, recognizing a complication ahead of time can prevent serious problems, including paralysis or even death. Some general complications associated with metastatic breast cancer are possible no matter where your cancer has spread or the type of treatments you've received or are receiving now.
Advanced breast cancer means that a breast cancer has spread to another part of the body. This includes the liver, lungs, brain, or bones. It doesn't include breast cancers that are affecting the lymph glands under the arm. Sometimes cancer is advanced when it is first diagnosed.