There are two
ways to describe the stages of pancreatic cancer: by stage number (I to IV) or
by surgical resection category. The stage number indicates the size and
location of the cancer. The surgical resection category indicates whether or
not the tumor can be surgically removed. Both are determined by the size and
location of the primary tumor, the involvement of local lymph nodes and blood
vessels and the presence of distant metastases.
- Stage IA -
the tumor is limited to the pancreas and measures 2 centimeters or less at its
- Stage IB -
the tumor is limited to the pancreas and measures greater than 2 centimeters.
- Stage IIA -
the tumor extends directly beyond the pancreas but does not involve the local
arteries or local lymph nodes.
- Stage IIB -
the tumor may or may not extend beyond the pancreas but does not involve the
celiac axis or superior mesenteric artery. Local lymph nodes are involved.
- Stage III -
the tumor involves major arteries, the celiac axis and/or superior mesenteric
artery. Regional lymph nodes may or may not be involved
- Stage IV- the
primary tumor may be any size and the disease has spread to another part of the
resection category, the tumor may be staged as resectable (operable), locally
advanced or unresectable (inoperable).
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