Stages of pancreatic cancer
Staging is a method of determining the progress of cancer. During the staging process, the tumor characteristics and the extent to which the cancer has spread to other parts of the body is studied and evaluated. There are a number of different aspects to staging. A simplified approach puts individuals into groups, or stages, based on how far the cancer has advanced.
Stage 0 – the cancer is found only in the lining of the pancreas
Stage 1 - the cancer is found only in the pancreas. During stage 1A the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. During stage1Bthe tumor is larger than 2 centimeters The cancer can be treated by surgically removing a portion of the pancreas. This is also referred to as the resectable stage.
Stage 2 - The cancer has advanced past the point of being resectable and may have spread to nearby tissue and organs. During state 2B, it has also spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 3 - The tumor has spread out to other organs, to major blood vessels near the pancreas and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes
Stage 4 – The cancer may be of any size and has spread to distant organs, such as the liver, lung and peritoneal cavity.
Recurrent – Recurrent pancreatic cancer has returned (recurred) after treatment. Cancer may come back in the pancreas or in another part of the body.
Once doctors know how far along the cancer is, they can determine the best course of treatment. As with many other types of cancer, the outcome depends on how advanced your cancer is when it is diagnosed. At this time, most pancreatic cancer can only be cured when identified at an early stage, before it has spread. To learn about the most common forms of treatment for pancreatic cancer, read about possible cure for pancreatic cancer section that follows.
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