Staging describes the severity of a person’s cancer based on the extent of the original (primary) tumor and whether or not cancer has spread in the body. Staging is important for several reasons:
1. Staging helps the doctor plan the appropriate treatment
2. The stage can be used to estimate the person’s prognosis.
3. Knowing the stage is important in identifying clinical trials that may be suitable for a particular patient.
Staging helps health care providers and researchers exchange information about patients; it also gives them a common terminology for evaluating the results of clinical trials and comparing the results of different trials.
Staging is based on knowledge of the way cancer progresses. Cancer cells grow and divide without control or order, and they do not die when they should. As a result, they often form a mass of tissue called a tumour. As the tumour grows, it can invade nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can also break away from the tumour and enter the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. By moving through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, cancer cells can spread from the primary site to lymph nodes or to other organs, where they may form new tumours’. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
Staging systems for cancer have evolved over time. They continue to change as scientists learn more about cancer. Some staging systems cover many types of cancer; others focus on a particular type. The common elements considered in most staging systems are as follows:
1. Site of the primary tumour.
2. Tumor size and number of tumours’.
3. Lymph node involvement (spread of cancer into lymph nodes).
4. Cell type and tumour grade (how closely the cancer cells resemble normal tissue cells).
5. The presence or absence of metastasis.
The types of tests used for staging depend on the type of cancer. Tests include the following:
1. Physical exams
2. Imaging studies
3. Laboratory tests
4. Pathology reports
5. Surgical reports
1. Staging is important for to know the,
a) Place of tumour
b) Extent of original tumour
1. b)Extent of original tumour
Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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