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Definition of Staging

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether it has spread from its original site to other parts of the body. The following stage numbers are typically used in staging:

  • Stage ICancer cells are found only on the surface of the affected organ or area.
  • Stage IICancer cells are found in the deeper tissues of the organ or area and have spread.
  • Stage IIICancer cells are found in even deeper tissues and have spread to nearby lymph nodes or other nearby areas.
  • Stage IVCancer cells are found throughout the organ or area and in nearby lymph nodes and/or have spread to other parts of the body.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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