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Answering Questions About Cancer Staging

For individuals diagnosed with cancer, visiting their imaging center in San Antonio for radiology tests like MRIs and ultrasounds can play an important role in their ongoing treatment and determining the cancer’s stage. Read on to learn the answers to common questions about cancer staging. cancer - staging

What is a cancer stage?

The stage of your cancer refers to the extent of its growth in your body, such as whether it has spread and the tumor’s size. A person’s cancer will always be referred to by the stage that it was at the time of diagnosis, even if it spreads or worsens. Although information regarding your cancer may change over time, its stage will not.

Why do physicians use cancer staging?

Knowing the stage of your cancer benefits your doctor in several ways. First, it can help her determine the best course of treatment for your situation. Also, knowing the stage of your cancer can alert your physician to how serious your condition is and help her estimate your chances of survival.

How is someone’s cancer stage determined?

If you have symptoms that suggest you might have cancer or received screening results indicating that you may have this condition, then your doctor will order any of several types of tests, such as X-rays, blood work, or MRIs. These tests can diagnose your cancer and allow your physician to determine its stage.

What is the cancer staging system?

There are quite a few staging systems used by doctors. Some of these systems are used for a broad range of cancers, and others are employed only for specific types of the disease.

What is the TNM cancer staging system?

The TNM system is the most widely used cancer staging system. The T in this system refers to the extent of the patient’s main tumor, which is commonly called the primary tumor. The N describes the number of lymph nodes near the primary tumor that have cancer. Finally, the M refers to whether the cancer has metastasized and to what extent.