Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
Stages of Pancreatic Cancer
Key Points for this Section
Tests and procedures to stage pancreatic cancer are usually
done at the same time as diagnosis.
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:
- Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
- Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
- Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.
When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.
The following stages are used for pancreatic
Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)
In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the lining of the pancreas. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.
Pea, peanut, walnut, and lime show tumor sizes.
In stage I, cancer has formed and is
found in the pancreas only. Stage I is divided into
stage IA and
stage IB, based on the size of the tumor.
In stage II, cancer
may have spread to nearby tissue and
organs, and may have spread to lymph nodes near the
pancreas. Stage II is divided into
stage IIA and
stage IIB, based on where the
cancer has spread.
In stage III, cancer
has spread to the major blood vessels near the pancreas and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.
In stage IV, cancer
may be of any size and has spread to distant organs, such as the liver, lung, and peritoneal cavity. It may have also spread to organs and tissues near the pancreas or to