Stages

If pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, the doctor needs to know the stage, or extent, of the disease to plan the best treatment. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body.

The Spreading of Cancer

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body:

Through tissue.
Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.

Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.

Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.

When cancer cells break away from the primary tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another, or secondary tumor, may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary, or metastatic, tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if pancreatic cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually pancreatic cancer cells. The disease is metastatic pancreatic cancer, not bone cancer.

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

Generally, pancreatic cancer is staged at the time of diagnosis.

Stage 0 (carcinoma in situ) - In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the lining of the pancreas. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I - In stage I, cancer has formed and is found in the pancreas only. Stage I is divided into stage IA and stage IB, based on the size of the tumor:

Stage IA:
The tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller.
Stage IB: The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters.

Stage II - In stage II, cancer may have spread to nearby tissue and organs, and may have spread to lymph nodes near the pancreas. Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB, based on where the cancer has spread:

Stage IIA:
Cancer has spread to nearby tissue and organs but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage IIB: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and may have spread to nearby tissue and organs.

Stage III - In stage III, cancer has spread to the major blood vessels near the pancreas and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV - In stage IV, cancer may be of any size and has spread to distant organs, such as the liver, lung, and peritoneal cavity. It may have also spread to organs and tissues near the pancreas or to lymph nodes.

Social Media

Follow us on:

Free Materials

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Materials

Internet Radio Show

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Internet Radio Show

News

Our Initiatives

Mini Meals