The most important thing when doctor want to give treatment to the patients if by examining the stage of pancreatic cancer they have. It is very important since treatment decision may vary based on the stage the patients have. Staging process will help the doctor take the best treatment. It is slightly different with the grade level. The grade level may show how aggressive the cancer and how it grows and spreads. The right decision can be made after the doctor find out the stage of the cancer. The stage itself consists of some classifications.
Stages of Pancreatic Cancer
There are some kind of pancreatic cancer stage classifications. They can be based on the cancer removable stage, their size and spreading coverage or other ways.
Based on the division of how pancreatic cancer can be resected or removed, there are three stages of the cancer stages. The first is resectable. Resectable stage means that tumor in the pancreas can be removed. The surgeon is more likely to believe that the tumor can be entirely removed since the cancer is only in pancreas. The second one is borderline resectable stage. This is kind of stage that the cancer are believed to reach blood vessel. The surgeon may still believe that it can be removed with surgery. The last one of this kind of stage is unresectable. It means that the surgery will not remove the cancers by surgery because it cannot be.
The system of cancer classification is also made by American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). This kind of classification system is widely used in staging system of various types of cancer including pancreatic cancer. The system uses information in forms of 3 key pieces: T, N, and M. T means the main tumor size. It shows if the tumor has spread to organ outside pancreas. (T1 describes the size of the tumor that is smaller than 2 cm and the cancer is inside the pancreas, T2 means that the tumor is bigger than 2 cm, T3 means that the cancer started to grow (into tissues surrounding pancreas and T4 is like T3 but the cancer has also already spread to nearby large blood vessels). N tells you the spread to lymph nodes. N0 is when the tumor has not spread to lymph nodes and N1 if the tumor has spread to lmph nodes (nearby). M describes the metastatized status of the cancer to other body organs. Liver, the peritoneum, lungs are most common place of the cancer spread. M0 is when the tumor has not spread to body parts such as lungs or the liver and M1 is when it has spread to the body parts.
Grade: Similar to Stages of Pancreatic Cancer
Besides the stage, grade level is also used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. They are given to help the doctor classify the tumor’s aggressive stage and how it will grow to the surrounding tissue and also other body location. The range of grade levels is between 1-4. G1 shows that the cancer looks almost the same with normal cells while G4 describes the abnormal appearance of the cancer cells. Grade level is different with stages of pancreatic cancer but they both helpful for the treatment.