Stomach cancer stages are measurements that physicians often use to describe the extent to which a patient’s cancer has grown and spread to other tissues or organs. Staging provides consistent terminology that can be useful to an entire team of medical professionals.
In order to assign an appropriate stage to your cancer, a physician will typically order a series of diagnostic tests, such as physical examinations, imaging scans, blood analyses and biopsies, and then thoroughly analyze the results. When assessing a cancer, one of the following stomach cancer stages will generally be assigned:
- Stage 0 – Abnormal cells have been identified in the inner layer of the stomach, but nowhere else.
- Stage 1 – A tumor has spread into the second layer of the stomach (submucosa), and malignant cells have been found in up to six lymph nodes. This stage may also be assigned if a cancer has spread to the muscular layer of the stomach (subserosa), but has not spread to any lymph nodes or nearby organs.
- Stage 2 – Malignant cells have spread only to the submucosa and can be found in seven to 15 lymph nodes, a tumor has invaded the subserosa and spread to up to six lymph nodes, or a tumor has affected the outer layer of the stomach (serosa), but has not spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs.
- Stage 3 – Cancer has spread to the subserosa and invaded up to 15 lymph nodes, or malignant cells have spread to other nearby organs, but not area lymph nodes or organs that are further away from the stomach.
- Stage 4 – A tumor has spread to more than 15 lymph nodes, malignant cells have spread to nearby organs and at least one lymph node, or the cancer has metastasized to distant organs.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, once the condition has been staged, a collaborative tumor board comprised of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other cancer experts will then formulate an individualized treatment plan for the patient and closely monitor his or her progress. We are well equipped to handle even the most advanced stages of kidney cancer, and offer a comprehensive array of patient care programs, including diagnostic testing, cancer treatment and supportive care, all in one convenient location.
Contact Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-663-3488 or by filling out our online patient registration form to learn more about stomach cancer stages and how we can help you in your efforts to regain optimal health. No referral is needed to meet with the oncologists of our stomach cancer program.