There are several different stages of breast cancer and these are determined by multiple factors. The TNM system classifies malignancies, to determine their associated survival statistics, which varies between different types of cancers. First, is the size or tumor (T) stage. Second is the nodal (N) stage, which is determined by discovering if cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. Lastly, is the metastatic (M) stage, which is deemed 0 or 1, and is based on the fact that cancer has not or has spread to other areas of the body, respectively. For breast cancer, doctors use physical exam findings, imaging (mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, CT or PET) and biopsy information to determine what your “clinical stage” is. Recently, the “prognostic markers” have been added to this staging system to help predict prognosis. These markes are different for each person’s cancer and are determined by testing the biopsy specimen for expression of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. This information is combined with the standard TNM information after surgery to determine your final stage of breast cancer.