Breast Cancer Staging: Predicting Outcome and Response to Treatment
A cornerstone of clinical oncology is estimating the risks of cancer recurrence and death, and the likelihood that treatment will reduce these risks. This information is central to treatment decisions and is critical for helping patients put their cancer and treatment in the proper perspective. Many factors impact these risks. These are codified at the time of diagnosis using so-called “staging systems.” Traditional staging systems only account for the anatomic extent of disease. However, it is increasingly understood that the biologic behavior of cancer may be quantified through examination of other nonanatomic characteristics. A limited number of these characteristics can be reliably measured and have been validated for use in outcome prediction. In the future, these factors will have an increasing role in supplementing, and perhaps supplanting, anatomic extent of disease in outcome and treatment response prediction. Algorithms beyond the anatomic systems to apply these characteristics of cancers to specific cancer types and situations are under active development.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Sentinel Node Biopsy National Comprehensive Cancer Network Inflammatory Breast Cancer Stage Group
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