Cancer staging explains the severity or extend of a person’s cancer. Recognizing the different cancer stages helps doctors to plan treatment options and assess the patient’s prognosis. Over the long run, different cancer staging systems have been developed and scientists are about to product more sophisticated systems. Cancer staging is the measurement of the severity of the patient’s cancer. This is done on the basis of the extent of the primary tumor and checks whether the cancer has spread to other body parts or not. Cancer staging is essential due to many reasons. It helps doctors to plan the right treatment as well as measure his/her prognosis. Staging helps researchers and health care providers to transfer data about patients. Besides this, it also provides them a general terminology to measure the clinical trial results and compare other trial results.
Common components of staging systems:
Staging systems that are commonly available in the market can be divided into two types. One covers different kinds of cancer while the others are used for specific cancer types. The most common components considered in all staging systems include primary tumor location, lymph node involvement, size and number of tumors, tumor grade and cell type, the availability or lack of metastasis.
Different tests used to determine stages cancer:
Depending upon the type of cancer, different tested are used for cancer staging. Some popular and common tests include the following:
• Imaging studies: These studies make images of different parts inside the body. Being one of the vital tests in determining stages cancer, these studies include processes such as computer tomography scans, X-rays, positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans that display the site of the caner, tumor size and whether other body parts are affected.
• Physical exams: These tests are made to collect data about the cancer. Doctors check the body through looking, touching and listening to anything unusual. Physical exams may display the size and location of the tumors and spreading of the same to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
• Laboratory tests: These tests study urine, blood, other fluids and tissues assumed from the body. For instance, examinations for tumor markers and liver function can give important data about the cancer.
• Surgical reports: These tests display the data found during surgery. They explain the look and size of the tumor and generally contain observations about lymph nodes and other organs.
• Pathology reports: These rests may contain data about tumor size, its growth into other organs and tissues, tumor grade and the kind of cancer cells. Biopsy may be recommended to get details for the pathology report. Cytology reports also explain findings from the tests of cells in body fluids.
Why cancer staging is important?
Cancer staging is made to know the way cancer develops. Affected cells progress and spread without control and they don’t cease when they should. If stages cancer is not detected and treated at the right time, it will spread over the body and cause to death of the person.
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