Staging of Cancer
Cancer staging refers to the extent or severity of cancer-based on the original tumor. Staging indicates the extent in which cancer has spread. There are four stages of cancer. Stage one to four. Factors such as the size of tumor, the extent of penetration, invasion into adjacent tissues and distant organs and the extent of metastasis, usually determine the stage of cancer. As tumors develop in a tissue or organ, they spread to other tissues and organs. They can also enter the blood stream or the lymphatic system and spread to other organs. Tumors spread from a primary site to a secondary site through a process called metastasis. Cancer staging is very important since it helps the doctors to predict death or survival and to provide treatment. The health care providers also use cancer staging to establish prognosis. Treatment can help restage cancer but rarely can it change the stage detected at diagnosis (Aronson, 2010). Staging also helps in identifying clinical trials that can suit particular patients.
There are several systems used to cluster stages of cancer. They include the Tumor Node System, Ann Arbor system, scale I-IV, the FIGO system, Jewett Whitmore system and the Dukes staging system. These systems consider various elements used to cluster the stage. These include the primary site of the tumor, size, and the number of tumors, the tumor cell type, the involvement of tumor and metastasis (Wen, Schiff, & Quant, 2012). The most used cancer staging system is the Tumor Node Metastasis (TNM) system. The TNM system usually clusters cancer in two stages, which include a clinical stage and a pathological stage. The clinical stage is the stage before surgery where cancer is described through physical examination and other forms o f diagnosis except biopsy. The pathological stage is the