Home » Information » Pancreatic Cancer Stages: The stages of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer Stages: The stages of pancreatic cancer

The stage of a cancer is an indication of how far the disease has spread. The tests that are performed to diagnose cancer provide an indication about the stage of the disease. Staging is important because it determines what type of treatment has to be used. In some cases, the stage of the cancer of the cancer cannot be determined until after the surgery.

Image

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

There are various ways of staging the cancer. The two main systems used for staging cancer are the TNM and number systems. These systems are described below:

TNM system of staging pancreatic cancer

TNM stands for Tumor, Node, Metastasis. In this system, the staging is determined by the spread of the disease. It can describe the size of the primary tumor, if it has spread to the lymph nodes or if it has spread to other parts of the body. There are five stages of pancreatic in the TNM classification:

Tis: In this stage, the pancreatic cancer is in its early stages and has not had a chance to spread to other parts of the body.

T1: In this stage, the tumor is inside the pancreas and is less than 2 cm in size in any direction.

T2: In this stage, the tumor is still within the pancreas but it more than 2cm across in size.

T3: In this stage, the cancer has started to grow into the tissues surrounding the pancreas. However, it has not yet spread to the nearby large blood vessels.

T4: In this stage, the cancer has grown into the tissues outside the pancreas and nearby large blood vessels.

N0: Means cancer cells have not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

N1: Means cancer cells have to spread to the lymph nodes and there is a chance that the cancer cells have spread to other body parts as well.

M0: Means cancer has spread to different parts of the body but not to distant organs of the body such as the liver or lungs.

M1: Cancer has spread to all other organs.

Number system of staging pancreatic cancer

Stage 1: There are two subdivisions in stage 1-1A and 1B.

Stage 1A: In this stage, the cancer is completely inside the pancreas itself. It is less than 2cm and there are no cancer cells in the lymph nodes.

Stage 1B: In this stage, the cancer is completely inside the pancreas but it is more than 4 cm in size. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.

Stage 2: Stage 2 is divided into two substages-2A and 2B.

Stage 2A: In stage 2A, the cancer has started to grow into nearby tissues. The cancer cells may be detected in the duodenum or the bile duct. However, it has not yet spread to the larger blood vessels or lymph nodes.

Stage 2B: In this stage, the cancer cells have grown into tissues surrounding the pancreas. Cancer cells can also be found in the nearby lymph nodes. However, cancer cells have not spread to the large blood vessels.

Stage 3: In stage 3, the cancer cells are growing outside the pancreas and are found in the nearby blood vessels. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes. Stage 3 is also known as “locally advanced cancer”.

Stage 4: In stage 4, the cancer cells have spread to distant parts of the body such as the liver or the lungs. It is also known as “advanced cancer”.

Outsmart cancer

  • "Cancer does not have to be a death sentence"
  • WATCH

    Let’s Find Out How To Be Cancer Proof!