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Stage - A system for determining the extent (or severity) of cancer as it occurs in the body. The process of staging is based on several factors, including: tumor size, location, and number, lymph node involvement, cell type and tumor grade (how closely the tumor cells resemble healthy tissue), and the presence or absence of metastasis (the spread of cancer from the original site to other parts of the body). One of the most commonly used systems for staging different types of cancer is called the TNM system. The TNM system stages cancer from 0 to IV, based on the extent of the tumor (T), the extent of spread to the lymph nodes (N), and the presence of metastasis (M).
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