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staging

the process of finding out whether cancer has spread and if so, how far; the process of learning the stage of the cancer. There is more than one system for staging different types of cancer.

The TNM staging system, which is used most often, is typically based on 3 key pieces of information.

  • T refers to the main tumor (its size and/or wthether it has grown into nearby areas)


  • N describes whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes


  • M shows whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs of the body


  • Letters or numbers after the T, N, and M give more details about each of these factors. To make this information clearer, the TNM descriptions can be grouped together into a simpler set of stages, labeled with Roman numerals (usually from I to IV). In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number means a more advanced cancer.

    The 2 main types of staging are clinical and pathologic.

  • clinical staging is an estimate of the extent of cancer based on physical exam, biopsy results, and imaging tests.


  • pathologic staging is an estimate of the extent of cancer based on the clinical stage, plus what was found during surgery.
  • How is colorectal cancer staged?

    ... How is colorectal cancer staged? ... can see, the Dukes and Astler-Coller staging
    systems often combine different AJCC stage groupings and ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-staged

    How is breast cancer staged?

    ... How is breast cancer staged? ... The cancer's stage is one of the most important
    factors in ... A staging system is a standardized way for the cancer care ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-staging

    How is melanoma skin cancer staged?

    ... How is melanoma skin cancer staged? ... The stage of your melanoma is very
    important in planning ... A staging system is a standard way to sum up ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-staging

    Initial treatment of prostate cancer by stage

    ... The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing the
    best way to treat it. The "How is prostate cancer staged?" section ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-treating-by-stage

    How is prostate cancer staged?

    ... How is prostate cancer staged? ... Other staging systems. In addition to the TNM
    system, other systems have been used to stage prostate cancer. ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-staging

    How is ovarian cancer staged?

    ... The accuracy of the staging may determine whether or ... If the cancer isn't
    accurately staged, then cancer ... the cancer has been given a stage it does ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-staging

    How is Hodgkin disease staged?

    ... How is Hodgkin disease staged? ... symptoms are present, the letter A is added
    to the stage. ... These terms are not part of the formal staging system, but ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkindisease/detailedguide/hodgkin-disease-staging

    How is pancreatic cancer staged? | American Cancer Society

    ... Pancreatic cancer is staged based on the results of ... A staging system is a
    standard way for doctors to ... The main system used stage cancers of the ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-staging

    Treatment options for cervical cancer by stage

    ... Stage 0 (carcinoma in situ). Although the AJCC staging system classifies
    carcinoma in situ (CIS) as the earliest form of cancer, doctors often think of ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-treating-by-stage

    Pancreatic cancer survival by stage | American Cancer ...

    ... Printable Version [PDF]». Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS. ...
    How is pancreatic cancer staged? ... Pancreatic cancer survival by stage. ...

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-survival-rates