Stages

Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting the functions of other organs in the body.

We use diagnostic tests to determine the cancer's stage, so staging may not be complete until all the tests are finished.

Knowing the stage helps us to decide what type of treatment is best and can help predict a patient's chance of survival.

Stage 0: Refers to cancer in situ, in which the cancer has not yet invaded outside the duct (or tube) in which it started (Tis, N0, M0).

Stage 1A: The tumor is 2 cm or smaller in the pancreas. It has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body (T1, N0, M0).

Stage 1B: A tumor larger than 2 cm is in the pancreas. It has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body (T2, N0, M0).

Stage 2A: A tumor extends beyond the pancreas, but the tumor has not spread to nearby arteries or veins. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other parts of the body (T3, N0, M0).

Stage 2B: A tumor of any size has not spread to nearby arteries or veins. It has spread to lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body (T1, T2, or T3; N1; M0).

Stage 3: A tumor has spread to nearby arteries, veins, and/or lymph nodes but has not spread to other parts of the body (T4, N1, M0).

Stage 4: Any tumor that has spread to other parts of the body (any T, any N, M1).

Recurrent: Recurrent cancer is cancer that comes back after treatment. If there is a recurrence, the cancer may need to be staged again (called re-staging) using the system above.