Cancer occurs when changes happen to the genes in the body that are responsible for controlling how cells function, including how they grow and divide. As cancers continue to grow, it is possible for additional genetic changes to happen.
When you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your oncologist will want to learn more about your cancer, including knowing how fast the cancer is growing and if hormone receptors are present that respond to either estrogen or progesterone. Additional imaging tests can see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
The results of these tests will give your oncologist the information needed to stage your cancer.