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Early and advanced breast cancer, are distinguished in terms of how far the breast cancer has progressed, not the age at which the woman is diagnosed. Early breast cancers are typically limited to a single tumor or area of the breast, and are easier to treat because a surgeon can often remove all the cancerous areas. Any cancer cells that might remain are often removed with a round of radiation therapy. Advanced breast cancer, on the other hand, has had a chance to spread, both throughout the breast and into other tissues of the body. Surgery alone cannot always rid the body of advanced cancer. Treatment becomes more difficult, but the prognosis can still be optimistic. If the stage of your breast cancer concerns you, try to get in touch with a support group where you can talk to survivors of all stages.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|