NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer – Locally Advanced (STAGE III)
Breast cancer basics
To join, you’ll need to review and sign an informed
consent form. This form describes the study in detail.
The study’s risks and benefits should be described
and may include others than those described above.
Ask your treatment team if there is an open clinical
trial that you can join. There may be clinical trials
where you’re getting treatment or at other treatment
centers nearby. You can also find clinical trials
through the websites listed in Part 9.
Inside of women’s breasts are lobules, ducts,
and stroma. Lobules are structures that make
breast milk. Ducts carry breast milk from the
lobules to the nipple. Stroma is a soft tissue
that surrounds the lobules and ducts.
Breast cancer often starts in the milk ducts or
lobules and then spreads into the stroma.
Breast cancer can spread outside the breast
through lymph or blood.
Stage III breast cancers are divided into three
groups. Stage IIIA cancers do not involve the
breast skin or chest wall but have spread into
nearby lymph nodes. Stage IIIB cancers do
involve the breast skin, chest wall, or both.
Stage IIIC cancers have spread to a great
extent within nearby lymph nodes.
Treatment for stage III breast cancer has many
parts. Common treatments are chemotherapy,
surgery, radiation therapy, and endocrine
therapy. Not everyone receives the same
chemotherapy or surgery. The order of some
treatments may differ, too.
Clinical trials give people access to new tests
and treatments that they otherwise can’t
receive. If proven to work well, they may be
approved in time by the FDA.