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Confused about the order of pancreatic cancer stages. Clarify

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Pancreatic Cancer staging: There is a Stage 2, a Stage 2A, a Stage 2B. I'm confused about the order of Stage 2, Stage2A, and Stage 2B. Can you please clarify?
Thank you
Posted Thu, 31 Oct 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
There is stage 2a an 2b, no stage 2 only

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Staging of pancreatic cancer is based on 3 factors : the tumor itself, spread to near by lymph nodes and distant spread/ metastasis.

These 3 factors are then used to determine the stage.

T ( tumor)- this ranges from Tx to T4 . When it is at T4 , it has reached particular set of blood vessels.

N (lymph nodes)- this ranges from Nx to N1. When it is N1, there is spread to nearby lymph nodes

M (metastasis or distant spread)-this ranges from Mx to M1. When it is M1, there is distant spread to other areas.

After the assessment of the above the cancer is then staged. In terms stage 2, there is stage 2a and stage 2b. There is no stage 2 only , it is either 2 a or 2b.

Stage 2a is T3, N 0 , M 0- this means : T3- the tumor has extended beyond the pancreas ( possibly the bile duct , duodenum) but does not involve particular set of arteries
N 0-no lymph node spread and M 0- no metastasis

Stage 2 b is T 1-3, N -1, M-0
This means that there is spread to nearby lymph nodes but no metastasis seen.
In the classification of the T less than T3 ( Tx- T2) , the tumor is not extending beyond the pancreas to nearby structures.
This means that in stage 2b the tumor would have spread through the lymph vessels to nearby lymph nodes but may or may not involve adjacent structures.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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