Understanding the stages of cancer
Cancer typically has four stages. Some cancers even have a stage 0 (zero). Staging is a way to describe a cancer by telling where a cancer is located, its size, how far it has grown into nearby tissues, and if it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other body parts. Staging helps the employee’s physician plan the best treatment.
- Stage 0
- This stage means that abnormal cells are present but have not spread to nearby tissues. Stage 0 cancers are often curable.
- Stage I
- This stage usually represents a small tumor or cancer that hasn’t grown deeply into nearby tissues. It’s sometimes called early-stage cancer.
- Stage II or III
- Usually, these stages represent larger cancers or tumors that have grown more deeply into nearby tissues. They also may have spread to lymph nodes. However, they haven’t spread to other organs or parts of the body.
- Stage IV
- Cancer in this stage has spread to other organs or parts of the body. It may be referred to as metastatic or advanced cancer.