Slide show: Stages of breast cancer
Illustrations of stage III breast cancer
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If you have stage III breast cancer, known as locally or regionally advanced cancer, your cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near your breast — those located under your arm or by your collarbone — but not to more-distant parts of your body. Here are some examples:

  • The tumor is larger than 5 cm (2 inches), with cancer cells that have spread to your axillary lymph nodes. However, the nodes aren't attached to one another (A).
  • The tumor is smaller than 5 cm (2 inches), but the cancer has spread into nearby lymph nodes and the nodes are growing into each other or the surrounding tissue (stroma).
  • The tumor is smaller than 5 cm (2 inches), but the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes above your collarbone (B).
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