Staging of cancer

04 May 2011
Staging is a system used to define the size and spread of solid tumours. Knowing the extent of the cancer helps doctors to decide on the best treatment.

Four stages are usually used:

Stage 1: the tumour is small and localized
Stage 2 or 3: the cancer has spread into surrounding structures
Stage 4: the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body this is known as secondary or metastatic cancer.

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