Pancreatic Cancer Stages
Pancreatic cancer stages are usually identified through imaging tests, and sometimes surgery, after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis has been confirmed. Staging is often used by physicians as a point of reference when discussing the extent of a cancer and the degree to which it has spread throughout a patient’s body. This information is an important factor taken into account by physicians when determining the most appropriate course of treatment.
In general, pancreatic cancer stages are described using two characteristics: a surgical resection category and a stage number. The surgical resection category (resectable, borderline or unresectable) indicates whether or not the tumor can be surgically removed, and the stage number refers to the size and location of the cancer.
Pancreatic cancer stages and the corresponding surgical resection categories include:
- Stage 1A – Resectable tumors that measure 2 centimeters or less and are limited to the pancreas
- Stage 1B – Resectable tumors that are larger than 2 centimeters and are limited to the pancreas
- Stage 2A – Resectable or borderline resectable tumors that extend directly beyond the pancreas but do not involve local lymph nodes or major arteries
- Stage 2B – Resectable or borderline resectable tumors that involve local lymph nodes but not major arteries
- Stage 3 – Unresectable tumors that involve major arteries
- Stage 4 – Unresectable tumors that have spread to other parts of the body
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our patients’ pancreatic cancer stages are reviewed in detail during a weekly tumor board meeting of cancer specialists. In this way, each patient receives the benefit of multiple expert opinions, all of which are incorporated into a highly individualized treatment plan. As a nationally recognized leader in the screening, diagnosis, treatment and support of cancer patients, Moffitt provides patients with access to the very latest options in every aspect of cancer care – all in a single, convenient location.
To learn more about pancreatic cancer stages from the cancer experts in Moffitt’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, call 1-888-MOFFITT or request to schedule an appointment online. Our physicians are available to help you understand your treatment options, even if you don’t have a referral.