File Name: cancer types and stages .zip
Staging is a way of describing the size of a cancer and how far it has grown.
A Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer
For most types of cancer, doctors need to know how much cancer there is and where it is among other things to help determine the best treatment options. For example, the best treatment for an early-stage cancer may be surgery or radiation , while a more advanced-stage cancer may need treatments that reach all parts of the body, such as chemotherapy , targeted drug therapy , or immunotherapy.
Sometimes, cancers with different stages might be treated the same way, or cancers with the same stage might be treated in different ways. Many factors determine the best treatment options for each person. Not all cancers are staged.
For example, leukemias are cancers of the blood cells and therefore typically have spread throughout the body by the time they are found. Typically, a cancer is staged when it is first diagnosed, before any treatment is given.
But in some cases, it is staged again after treatment has started. The clinical stage is an estimate of the extent of the cancer based on results of physical exams, imaging tests x-rays, CT scans, etc. For some cancers, the results of other tests, such as blood tests, are also used in clinical staging.
The clinical stage is often a key part of deciding the best treatment options. For example, the survival rates for most types of cancer are based mainly on the stage at the time of diagnosis see below. If surgery to remove the cancer is the first treatment, doctors can also determine the pathological stage also called the surgical stage. The pathological stage relies on the results of the exams and tests done before the surgery, as well as what is learned about the cancer during surgery.
Sometimes, the pathological stage is different from the clinical stage for instance, if the surgery shows the cancer has spread more than was seen on imaging tests. The pathological stage gives more precise information, which can be used to help determine what other treatments might be needed, as well as to help predict treatment response and outcomes prognosis.
For some cancers, some treatment other than surgery such as chemo, targeted drug therapy, or radiation might be done first. Or it can be done after surgery the same way as pathological staging , which might give more precise information.
Staging might also be done again at some point if the cancer comes back recurs or progresses grows or spreads without ever having gone away completely. This information can be used to help guide decisions about further treatment. When a cancer is staged again after the initial staging, it is sometimes referred to as restaging.
Often the same tests that were done when the cancer was first diagnosed such as physical exams, imaging tests, endoscopy exams, biopsies, and maybe surgery are done again.
The stage assigned at diagnosis is still the one that is most important when discussing statistics like survival rates described below. There are different types of systems used to stage cancer, but the most common and useful staging system for most types of cancer is the TNM system. In the TNM system, the overall stage is determined after the cancer is assigned a letter or number to describe the tumor T , node N , and metastasis M categories.
When trying to determine how much and where the cancer is in the body, doctors first look at the primary main tumor , which is where the cancer started. Doctors also check for other nearby tumors. Lymph nodes near the primary tumor are usually are checked to find out if cancer has spread into them. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune cells. Many types of cancer often spread to nearby lymph nodes before they reach other parts of the body.
Doctors might also look at other parts of the body to see if the cancer has spread. Cancer spread to parts of the body far from the primary tumor is known as metastasis.
For example, for some types of cancer, the T categories describe the size of the main tumor, while for others they describe how deeply the tumor has grown into the organ it started in, or whether the tumor has grown into nearby structures regardless of its size. For some cancer types, TNM categories may also have subcategories. These are noted with lowercase letters after the category.
For example, T3a or T3b. Some cancer types may also have fewer category options than other cancer types. For instance, some cancers may not have an N3 category. Some other factors that may be taken into account include:.
Grade: For most cancers, the grade is a measure of how abnormal the cancer cells look under the microscope. This is also called differentiation. Grade can be important because cancers with more abnormal-looking cells tend to grow and spread faster. The grade is usually assigned a number, with lower numbers for example, G1 used for lower grade cancers. Cell type: Cancers in some parts of the body can start in different types of cells. Because the type of cancer cell can affect treatment and outlook, it can be a factor in staging.
For example, cancers of the esophagus are mainly either squamous cell cancers or adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell esophageal cancers are staged differently from esophageal adenocarcinomas.
The stage of cancer of the esophagus, for example, depends on whether the cancer starts in the upper, middle, or lower third of the esophagus. Blood levels of t u mor markers: For some cancers, the blood levels of certain substances called tumor markers can affect the stage of the cancer.
For example, in prostate cancer , the level of prostate-specific antigen PSA in the blood is taken into account in assigning a stage. Results of tests on the cancer cells: For some cancers, lab tests done on the cancer cells are an important part of staging. For example, in breast cancer , the stage can be affected by whether or not the cancer cells have proteins called hormone receptors on them. Once the values for T, N, and M and any other factors that affect stage have been determined, they are combined to assign an overall stage.
For most cancers, the stage is a Roman numeral from I 1 to IV 4. Stage I cancers are less advanced and often have a better prognosis outlook. Higher stage cancers typically have spread farther or have other concerning features , so they might require more intense or different kinds of treatment. This means the cancer is still only in the layer of cells where it first started, and it has not spread any farther. For many types of cancer, prognosis is often expressed as a survival rate.
This is the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who are still alive a certain amount of time usually 5 years after being diagnosed. But they can give doctors and patients a general idea of how likely it is that treatment will be successful.
Survival rates are nearly always based on the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. For example, the 5-year survival rate of a cancer that is initially diagnosed as stage II and later spreads to another part of the body is not necessarily the same as that for a cancer that is initially diagnosed as a stage IV cancer because it had already spread to another part of the body when first diagnosed.
This is important to understand because the information on our pages that discusses survival statistics refers to the stage when the cancer was first diagnosed. Depending on the cancer type, other important prognostic factors might include:. If you have questions about survival rates and how they might be affected by the stage of your cancer or other factors, be sure to talk to your cancer care team.
Doctors are always learning more about cancer, how it grows and spreads, and how best to treat it. Over time, some of these findings are added to the staging systems for different types of cancer, which helps make them more accurate and valuable to both doctors and patients. At the same time, adding these newer findings often makes the staging systems more complex than they were in the past, which can make it harder for people to understand them.
These tests show whether the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging. It helps you and your health care team decide which treatment option is best for you. The staging system most commonly used for breast cancer is the TNM system. In this system, letters and numbers are used to describe how big the tumour is T , whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes N , and whether the cancer has spread to the bones or other organs, i. In , the staging system was updated to include details about the tumour such as oestrogen and progesterone receptor status, HER2 status and grade of the cancer.
Cancer staging is the process of determining the extent to which a cancer has developed by growing and spreading. Contemporary practice is to assign a number from I to IV to a cancer, with I being an isolated cancer and IV being a cancer that has spread to the limit of what the assessment measures. The stage generally takes into account the size of a tumor , whether it has invaded adjacent organs , how many regional nearby lymph nodes it has spread to if any , and whether it has appeared in more distant locations metastasized. The staging system is not applicable to astrocytoma , which is instead expressed as "grade I-IV". Grade IV astrocytoma, more commonly referred to as glioblastoma multiforme , is a universally fatal primary brain cancer most commonly seen in the 7th decade of life. Cancer staging can be divided into a clinical stage and a pathologic stage. In the TNM Tumor, Node, Metastasis system, clinical stage and pathologic stage are denoted by a small "c" or "p" before the stage e.
This type of staging may be done for some cancers because treatment before surgery helps shrink the tumor so it can be removed. Post-therapy stage is indicated.
Stages of Colon Cancer
For most types of cancer, doctors need to know how much cancer there is and where it is among other things to help determine the best treatment options. For example, the best treatment for an early-stage cancer may be surgery or radiation , while a more advanced-stage cancer may need treatments that reach all parts of the body, such as chemotherapy , targeted drug therapy , or immunotherapy. Sometimes, cancers with different stages might be treated the same way, or cancers with the same stage might be treated in different ways. Many factors determine the best treatment options for each person.
Cancer occurs when changes called mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way. Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast.
The stage refers to the extent of the cancer and how far it has spread. Staging colon cancer is essential to determine the best treatment approach. Colon cancer is typically staged based on a system established by the American Joint Committee on Cancer called the TNM staging system. Within each category, the disease is classified even further and assigned a number or a letter to indicate the extent of the disease. These assignments are based on the structure of the colon, as well as how far the cancer has grown through the layers of the colon wall.
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