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Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer is invasive breast cancer that is contained within the breast. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes in the breast or armpit. Some cancer cells may have spread outside the breast and armpit area but cannot be detected.

The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of survival.

Types of Stage 1 & 2 Breast Cancer

The most common types of invasive breast cancers are named after the area of the breast where they begin. Types of early breast cancers include:

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) – IDC starts in the ducts. It makes up 80% of all breast cancers.
  • Invasive lobule carcinoma (ILC) – ILC begins in the lobules. It accounts for 10% of breast cancers.

There are also other less common forms of invasive breast cancer, such as inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the nipple. For more information on the various types of invasive breast cancer, including the less common forms, please visit Types of Breast Cancer page.

Treatment for early breast cancer

The aim of treatment for early breast cancer is to remove the breast cancer and any cancer cells that may remain in the breast, armpit or other parts of the body but cannot be detected.

Treatment for early breast cancer can vary from person to person. The stage (extent) of your breast cancer is an important factor when making decisions about treatment. However, other factors can also be important, such as where the cancer is in the breast, the cancer’s grade, and whether the cancer is hormone receptor positive, HER2 positive or triple negative. Your doctor will also consider your age, general health and preferences.

Treatment for early breast cancer may involve:
• Breast surgery
• Radiotherapy
• Chemotherapy
• Hormonal therapies
• Targeted therapies

Usually more than one treatment is used. Treatment may be given in different orders and combinations. Learn more about different treatment options here.