Bone Cancer Stages / Staging
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Stages of Bone Cancer
Bone cancer staging describes the size of the tumor, whether or not the disease has spread, and the degree to which the cells look abnormal under the microscope.
The staging guidelines developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) are often used to stage bone cancers, and allow doctors to communicate important information about the cancer with each other in a standardized way. Bone cancer stages are based on four categories:
- T – Describes the size of the primary bone tumor.
- N – Indicates whether the bone cancer cells have spread to regional lymph nodes.
- M – Refers to whether the cancer has metastasized (spread to distant areas of the body).
- G – Grade refers to how abnormal the tumor cells look under the microscope (high-grade tumors look more abnormal, grow more quickly and are more likely to spread).
Bone Cancer Stage Groupings
Once the individual TNM components and tumor grade are scored, they are combined to determine the overall stage group:
- Stage I: At this stage, the cancer cells are still localized to the bone, and the tumor is considered low grade:
- Stage IA – these cancers are less than 8 cm in size
- Stage IB – the tumor is larger than 8 cm or can be found in several places in the same bone
- Stage II: These cancers are still localized to the bone, but they are considered high grade:
- Stage IIA – the tumor is less than 8 cm
- Stage IIB – the tumor is larger than 8 cm
- Stage III: Primary bone cancers at this stage are still localized to the bone, but they are high grade and have spread to several places within the same bone
- Stage IV: These bone cancers have spread, or metastasized, outside of the bone:
- Stage IVA: the bone cancer cells have spread only to the lung
- Stage IVB: bone cancer cells can be found in nearby lymph nodes or organs other than the lung (although they may also be found in the lung)
Bone Cancer Staging and Treatment Options
There are a number of different treatment options for each stage of bone cancer. Your care team at CTCA will carefully review your medical history and other relevant factors to develop your personalized bone cancer treatment plan.
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