Hearing what cancer stage you may have is an incredibly scary situation to be in. Staging in cancer means- the size of the tumour and how far it may have spread from its primary location.
From knowing the stage of the cancer- it is then determined what type of treatment would suit you as an individual, and what works for that certain stage of cancer.
It is an important step in finding out, for the consultant to determine treatment options.
Each cancer can be staged differently, for example prostate cancer- refers to the Gleason score. Where a score is taken from different areas of the prostate and then it's determined what score in total you have. For example 2=4=7.
However in general there are these options- which you may see in your notes:
Number staging system-
Stage 0- The cancer is in-situ (where it has started)
Stage 1- The cancer is small and hasn't spread anywhere else.
Stage 2- The cancer has grown but hasn't spread.
Stage 3- The cancer has grown, and depending on its location it may have spread through the blood, lymph or through another organ.
Stage 4- The cancer may have grown and spread, and potentially a secondary may be located else where in the body.
There is also the TNM staging-Which depending on the type of cancer- will determine whether this is useful for you.
T- Tumour the size of the cancer 1 - being small. 4 being large
N- means Nodal involvement or Lymph node involvement. 0 means no lymph nodes detected have cancer in them. 3 being meaning they do.
M- meaning the cancer has spread- metastasised. And whether it has spread 0 meaning it has not and 1 meaning it has.
However with each cancer, it is graded on how fast the cancer is growing- it means slightly different to where it may have spread.
However generally speaking:
Grade 1- the cancer is localised, and some healthy cells remain near by.
Grade 2- Slightly faster growing cancer cells, however most likely localised.
Grade 3- These cancer cells, are growing quickly, and may spread.
Always speak to your Oncologist if you have any questions on your staging or grading.