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Stages of Cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming for the patient, their family members and their friends.  For many it is like learning a new language.  Part of that new language is understanding the stages of cancer.  Knowing the cancer stage is important to both the patient and the cancer treatment team.

Staging is a way of describing a cancer, such as where it is located, if or where it has spread, and if it is affecting other organs in the body. Doctors use diagnostic tests to determine the cancer’s stage.  This information is used to build a treatment plan, to understand the patient's possible outcomes and to see whether or not a patient can be in a clinical trial. Stage is usually determined by 3 factors:

  1. Size and growth of tumor
  2. Whether cancer is located within the lymph nodes
  3. Whether it has spread to other parts of the body

You can learn more about cancer staging by going to Cancer.Net or going to National Cancer Institute

Stage 4 Cancer

What is stage 4 cancer?  This is a question that we hear a lot.  Unfortunately there is no simple answer.  Every cancer is different.  We have provided links below to staging information based on specific cancer types.   

Staging of common cancers in Maine

Click on any of the cancers listed below to learn more about staging:

Bladder Cancer Stages

Brain Cancer Stages

Breast Cancer Stages

Cervical Cancer Stages

Colorectal Cancer Stages

Lung Cancer Stages

Melanoma Cancer Stages

Oropharyngeal (head and neck) Cancer Stages

Prostate Cancer Stages