Knowledge Is Power
When you are diagnosed with cancer, your doctor will tell you the stage of cancer, which indicates the size and spread. Not all cancers are staged the same way. The American Joint Committee on Cancer and International Union for Cancer Control maintain and update an internationally recognized staging system: T = the original tumor N = cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes M = cancer has spread to other parts of the body Roman numerals after the T, N and M indicate how advanced the cancer is. From 0 to IV, stage IV is the most serious. 0: There are abnormal cells that have the potential to become cancer. I: Cancer is found only where it started (localized or early-stage cancer). II: Cancer has spread to nearby tissues. III: Cancer cells are in nearby lymph nodes and may be in the bloodstream. IV: Cancer has spread to the bloodstream and distant organs (advanced or metastatic cancer).