Treatment by Stage
Staging is the process the doctor
uses to determine the extent of the cancer in the body. After a diagnosis
of pancreatic cancer has been made, additional imaging tests and surgery
may be required to accurately determine the stage. Knowing the correct
stage helps the doctor determine the prognosis and best course of treatment.
There are two ways to describe the
stages of pancreatic cancer: by stage number or by surgical resection
category. The stage number indicates the size and location of the cancer.
The surgical resection category indicates whether or not the tumor can
be surgically removed. Both are determined by the size and location of
the primary tumor, the involvement of local lymph nodes and blood vessels
and the presence of distant metastases. Metastases are tumors that have
spread to other parts of the body. The doctor may use one or both methods
to describe the stage. The following chart details each stage and shows
the relationship between stage number and resection category.
||Surgical Resection Category
||Tumor is limited to the pancreas and measures 2 centimeters (cm) or less at its largest point.
||Tumor is limited to the pancreas and measures greater than 2 cm.
||Tumor extends directly beyond the pancreas but does not involve the local arteries (celiac axis and superior mesenteric artery) or local lymph nodes.
||Potentially Resectable/ Locally Advanced
||Tumor may or may not extend beyond the pancreas but does not involve the celiac axis or superior mesenteric artery. Local lymph nodes are involved.
||Tumor involves major arteries, the celiac axis and/or superior mesenteric artery (SMA). Regional lymph nodes may or may not be involved.
||Primary tumor may be any size. Disease has metastasized, or spread, to another part of the body, including the liver, abdominal wall, lungs, and/or distant lymph nodes.
The following links contain more information on treatment options.
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