Staging cancer is a standardized way to classify a tumor based on its size, whether it has spread, and where it has spread. In other words, staging measures the extent of the disease. Knowing the stage of cancer helps doctors determine which treatment options are the best approach.
For more details, visit the Lustgarten Foundation’s page on cancer staging.
The tumor in the pancreas is 2 cm or smaller and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
The tumor in the pancreas is larger than 2 cm and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
The tumor extends beyond the pancreas but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes, major blood vessels, or other parts of the body.
The tumor is any size and is either limited to or extends beyond the pancreas and has spread to lymph nodes but not to major blood vessels or other parts of the body.
Stage I and II cancers that have not spread beyond the pancreas may be resectable, or able to be surgically removed.
The tumor has spread to nearby blood vessels, may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes, but the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. Cancer in this stage is considered to be locally advanced.
The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastatic cancer.