Risk of metastasis with Stage II?

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Question from mindy: How often does the cancer metastasize if found at Stage II?
Answers - Eric Winer, M.D. Stage II is still fairly variable and heterogeneous. It depends a little bit on a number of different factors including the hormone receptors, the HER2/neu status of the tumor, how big the primary tumor is, and how many lymph nodes are involved—although the staging system has recently changed and has made this a little simpler.

In general, most women with Stage II breast cancer have a moderate chance of having a recurrence of cancer after they've finished treatment. And by moderate chance, I mean anywhere from as low as a 10% chance after treatment to as high as a 50% chance. I realize that that's a large range, but without knowing more specifics, both in terms of the tumor and treatment, it's hard to be any more accurate.

Musa Mayer I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer 14 years ago, and I'm fine.
Eric Winer, M.D. I think there are a lot of people who think because the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, which is often the case with Stage II breast cancer, it means that the cancer is going to spread elsewhere and that simply isn't true.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Metastatic Breast Cancer featured Musa Mayer, Eric P. Winer, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about treatment and quality of life issues related to advanced (metastatic) breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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