What The Different Stages Of Cancer 1-4 Mean – TNM Cancer Grading System Explained

In this video you’ll learn about the differences stages of cancer 1-4 and how doctors grade cancer.

Download a cheat sheet of this presentation at https://www.cancerwisdom.net/cancer-staging-cheat-sheet

Summary of video:

Cancer staging is the process of determining how much cancer is in the body and its location.

Understanding the stage of cancer helps doctors to:

Develop a prognosis and design a treatment plan for individual patients.
Learn how serious your cancer is and your chances of survival
Describe where cancer is, if or where it has spread
Predict the chance of cancer recurrence

Doctors collect data about cancer to determine its stage. This information comes from:

Physical examinations
Imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI
Laboratory tests from blood, urine and other fluids and tissues removed from the body
Pathology
Surgical reports

The TNM system describes cancers that form solid tumors, such as breast, colon, or lung cancers.

However, doctors use other staging systems to classify other types of cancer, such as brain tumors, blood cancers and childhood cancers.

In the TNM system, each cancer has a letter or number to describe its spread.

The letter “T” plus a number (0-4) describes the size and location of the tumor. It includes how much the tumor has grown into nearby tissues.

A larger tumor that grows deeper into the surrounding tissue receives a higher number.

For some types of cancer have lowercase letters, such as “a,” “b,” or “m” (for multiple), added to the “T.”

The extra letters provide more detail about the tumor.

TX means that you can’t measure the tumor.

T0 means there is no evidence of a primary tumor.

Tis (T I S) means that the cancer cells are only growing in the most superficial layer of tissue.

Numbers after the T (such as T1-T4) describe the tumor size or the amount of spread into nearby structures.

Node (N). The letter “N” plus a number (0-3) describes whether you can find cancer in the lymph nodes.

NX means that you can’t evaluate the nearby lymph nodes.
N0 means nearby lymph nodes do not contain cancer.
Numbers after the N (such as N1-N3) describe the size, location, or the number of lymph nodes affected by cancer.

The higher the N number, the greater the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Metastasis (M). The letter “M” indicates whether the cancer has metastasized, or spread, to other parts of the body.

M0 means that the cancer has not spread.
M1 Indicates that cancer has spread.

Most cancer types have their version of this classification system. So letters and numbers don’t always mean the same thing for every kind of cancer.

Doctors combine the T,N,M results to determine the stages of cancer 1-4 for each person. Most cancers have four stages.
Some cancers also have a stage 0 (zero).

Stage 0: This stage describes cancer in situ, which means “in place.” Stage 0 cancers live in the place they started and have not spread to nearby tissues.

Stage I: This is a small tumor that has not grown deep into nearby tissues. It also has not spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. It is often called early-stage cancer.

Stage II and III: These stages indicate larger cancers or tumors that survive deeper into nearby tissue. They may also spread to lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.

Stage IV. This stage means that the cancer has reached other organs or parts of the body. Some call it advanced or metastatic cancer.

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