The gastric cancer treatment team will examine the stomach will using an endoscope and make take a tissue sample for examination under the microscope. A barium X-ray may also be performed. Additional tests include CT Scan, MRI and laparoscopy, which is often used to stage the cancer.
Stages of Gastric Cancer
Identifying the stage of disease – how far advanced it is and whether it is has spread to nearby organs – is an important step in planning the appropriate treatment.
The four stages of gastric cancer are:
Stage 0: Abnormal cells are found only in the inner layer of the stomach.
Stage I: The tumor has spread to the submucosa or second layer of the stomach and is found in up to 6 lymph nodes; or it has invaded the subserosa, the muscular layer, but has not spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs.
Stage II: The tumor has spread only to the submucosa but can be found in 7 to 15 lymph nodes; or the tumor has invaded the subserosa and is found in 1 to 6 lymph nodes; or the tumor has grown into the serosa, the outer layer, but has not spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs.
Stage III: The tumor has spread to the subserosa and is found in 7-15 lymph nodes; or the tumor has reached the subserosa and has spread to 1 to 15 lymph nodes; or the tumor has spread to nearby organs, but not to the lymph nodes or distant organs.
Stage IV: The tumor has spread to more than 15 lymph nodes; or it has invaded nearby organs and at least 1 lymph node; or it has spread to distant organs.