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Understanding the Different Stages Of Cancer

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. It is notorious for how commonly it occurs and how deadly it can be in various stages. If it is in one of the earlier stages, it can be easier to treat – irrespective of whether it is treatment for liver cancer or breast cancer. It is important to identify and try removing the tumour as soon as possible. 

Even in today’s world where modern medicine has advanced rapidly, cancer is still a much-feared disease. It can be very difficult to deal with if it is located in certain delicate organs or has progressed to later stages. Cancer is generally defined as an overgrowth of the cancerous or rapid growth of abnormal cells. This mass of cells is called a tumour. 

Types of Tumours

There are three types of tumours:

  • Benign:Benign tumours are not usually cancerous. These tumours do not spread or move across the body. Once removed, they usually do not return.
  • Premalignant Tumour:This type of tumours are not cancerous, but they have the potential to become malignant. These kinds of tumours must be tended to early and removed before they turn malignant.
  • Malignant Tumour: These are cancerous tumours and can spread across the body. If left untreated, they could lead to many complications. These tumours are dangerous and should be removed as soon as possible.

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, the doctor will first tell what kind of cancer it is and in what stage it currently is in. The doctor will then share the various treatment methods. The treatment methods vary based on the stage of the disease. Due to different kinds of treatments for different stages of cancer, it is important to understand which stage the cancer is in. If the cancer is in one of the earlier stages, then it might require a simple surgery. If it has progressed to any of the later stages, it could require chemotherapy. 

Various Stages of Cancer:

The test results will help the doctor identify the stage of cancer. There are five stages of cancer. These stages are indicated by roman numerals and they are as follows:

  • The first stage is called the 0 stage, where the cells are not cancerous but are abnormal cells with the potential to be cancerous. 
  • The next stage is called early-stage cancer in general. This stage means that the disease is located in a single area and is non-moving. This is known as stage I.
  • Following stage I are stage II and stage III where the cancer is larger in size and would have started affecting nearby tissues.
  • Stage IV is where cancer has completely spread to various parts of the body. This is also known as metastatic cancer.

There are many tests that help determine what kind of cancer you have and what stage it is in. The tests could include blood tests, imaging and x-rays. It could also include MRIs, CT scans or even ultrasounds to image the affected area. A biopsy could also be administered where a piece of tissue is cut out and examined under a microscope. If the tumour is removed via surgery, the doctor will carry out further tests to learn more about the tissue and whether there is a possibility of future threats to your body. 

Doctors also use another system to determine what stage the cancer could currently be in. This system is known as the TNM system. TNM stands for the Tumour, Node and Metastasis system. 

  • A Tumour (T) followed by a number from 0-4, which determines the size of the tumour. 
  • Similarly, Node (N) followed by 0-3 indicates that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Metastasis (M) is indicated by M followed by 0 or 1 to show if cancer has metastasized or not. 

These are some of the parameters that are used to find out the stage of cancer the patient might be in. Apart from these parameters, there are also numerous tests that are conducted to ensure a thorough and complete check of the patient’s physiological processes. These tests are done to check the patient’s vitals and to ensure that they are responding to the treatment efficiently.

It is important that you find the best cancer hospital in India for your treatment. Get treatment from hospitals with the latest available technology and hospitals with a good reputation. Cancer is not like any other disease. The treatment process also could bring complications to the patient. Therefore, it is important to find the top hospitals that are trustworthy enough for you to be able to entrust your treatment process with them.

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