UNDERSTANDING HOW TO DETERMINE THE STAGES OF CANCER

Based on tumor size, extent of invasion to nearby organs/regions, degree of metastasis of the disease to lymph nodes/other organs/regions in the body, cancer is divided into corresponding stages.According to Dr. Tran Vuong Thao Nghi – Head of Oncology Department of Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, determining the stage of cancer in order to contribute more information to establish treatment plans, predict data on the possibility of recurrence. – disease metastasis, predictive of disease prognosis (including curative ability, patient survival prognosis).

However, it should be noted that cancer stage is not the only factor that helps predict the above data, but also depends on many other factors (such as cancer cell type, genetic mutations). , response to treatment, etc.). This explains why some patients who are diagnosed at a late stage, but respond well to treatment, can still achieve prolonged survival. But in general, most cancers are treated at an early stage, the better the chance of a cure.

The doctor combines the clinical examination with the implementation of some necessary tests such as blood tests, imaging tests (X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, MRI, CT, PET-CT). , biopsy, surgery…) to determine the stage of cancer.

Determining the stage of cancer is based on factors such as tumor size, extent of invasion to nearby organs/regions, degree of disease metastasis to lymph nodes/organs/other regions in the body. . In most cases, cancer staging will be assessed preoperatively and postoperatively.

Dr. Thao Nghi said, the main staging system often used for different types of cancer is the classification based on the TNM system. In addition, several other staging systems may be available.

The doctor combines the clinical examination with the implementation of some necessary tests such as blood tests, imaging tests (X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, MRI, CT, PET-CT). , biopsy, surgery…) to determine the stage of cancer.

Determining the stage of cancer is based on factors such as tumor size, extent of invasion to nearby organs/regions, degree of disease metastasis to lymph nodes/organs/other regions in the body. . In most cases, cancer staging will be assessed preoperatively and postoperatively.

Dr. Thao Nghi said, the main staging system often used for different types of cancer is the classification based on the TNM system. In addition, several other staging systems may be available.

Classification based on the TNM . system

For most types of cancer, doctors often use the American Cancer Commission (AJCC) TNM system to describe the stage of cancer. The TNM system uses letters and numbers for descriptions.

T (tumor): describes the size and invasion of the adjacent organ/region of the tumor with numbers from 1 to 4.

N (node): describes how far the disease has spread to nearby lymph nodes/other areas of the body, with numbers from 0 to 3.

M (metastasis): describes whether the cancer has spread to one/or other organs of the body with the numbers 0 or 1.

Primary tumor (T)

  • TX: The primary tumor cannot be measured.
  • T0: No primary tumor found.
  • T1, T2, T3, T4: Size and/or extent of the primary tumor. A higher number means that the tumor is larger or more invasive and has spread to nearby organs/regions.

Regional lymph nodes (N)

  • NX: Not measurable.
  • N0: There is no cancer in adjacent lymph nodes.
  • N1, N2, N3: Number and location of lymph nodes with cancer cells. The higher the number, the more lymph nodes have been metastasized by the cancer.

Distant metastasis (M)

  • MX: Not measurable.
  • M0: Cancer has not metastasized.
  • M1: The cancer has metastasized.

​Doctor Thao Nghi shared that, at Tam Anh General Hospital, after determining the stage of the disease, the doctor will plan a treatment plan with appropriate methods, which can combine many methods for effective results. best results. Patients and family members will be able to explain, discuss, and discuss in detail about treatment-related issues (including treatment plans, possible side effects, care and treatment options). methods of psychological – spiritual – nutritional support for the patient and in some cases for the family members), in order to support the patient and his/her relatives, to help the treatment phase achieve the best effect.