Once the breast cancer and the armpit lymph glands have been removed, they are then examined under the microscope by a specialist called a pathologist. The pathologist will determine the following:

  • Exactly what type of breast cancer is it?
  • How big is the cancer?
  • Has the cancer been completely removed?
  • Do the lymph glands contain cancer?
  • Does the cancer have hormone receptors or Her2 proteins?

The pathologist will also decide the severity of the cancer according to its appearance under the microscope and how much it has spread. In practice, the cancer is assessed (or staged) on a scale of 0 to 4 .

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