See full answer. Generally early stage refers to stage 0, i, or ii. Stage depends on the size of invasive cancer and whether or not there has been spread to underarm lymph nodes. Stage 0 is noninvasive, dcis. Stage i is any invasive cancer < 2cm and no spread to lymph nodes. Stage ii is 2-5cm cancer and/or spread to nodes. Stage iii is a larger cancer and spread to more nodes; stage IV is spread to other organs.
Local. Early stage means that the breast tumor is small and is limited only to the breast, it has not traveled to other locations in the body.
CAconfined to breast. What makes any cancer evil is the ability of cancer cells to break out of its organ of origin and travel elsewhere in the body, invading other organs. Early breast cancer implies ca confined to the breast, which is very difficult to be certain of. We correlate this with the size of the cancer and the presence of cancer cells within the axillary lymph nodes.