Stages of Pancreatic Cancer
If you have pancreatic cancer, staging will be done to express the extent of the disease. It is important to know the stage of the cancer in order to plan treatment. The stages include stages 0 through IV and recurrent cases of the disease. Tests and procedures that are used in staging this type of cancer are usually performed at the same time the disease is diagnosed.
When a doctor diagnoses pancreatic cancer, he or she will need to know the stage, or extent, of the disease in order to plan the best pancreatic cancer treatment. Pancreatic cancer staging is a careful attempt to find out the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body. Tests and procedures to stage pancreatic cancer are usually done at the same time the pancreatic cancer diagnosis is made.
For purposes of this article, the term "pancreatic cancer" refers to cancer that begins in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices (exocrine cells). This type of cancer accounts for about 95 percent of all cases of pancreatic cancer.
(Click Pancreatic Islet Cell Cancer for information about how a less common type of pancreatic cancer is classified.)
Stages of pancreatic cancer include:
- Stage 0 (carcinoma in situ)
- Stage I
- Stage II
- Stage III
- Stage IV
In stage 0, the cancer is only found in the lining of the pancreas. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.