What are the stages of cancer, and what do they mean?

Cancer typically has four stages: I through IV (1 to 4)
  • Stage 0: This stage means the cancer is still found in the place it started and hasn’t spread to nearby tissues. Stage 0 cancers are often curable.
  • Stage I: This stage usually represents a small tumor or cancer that hasn’t grown deeply into nearby tissues. It’s sometimes called early-stage cancer.
  • Stages II and III: Usually these stages represent larger cancers or tumors that have grown more deeply into nearby tissues. They also may have spread to lymph nodes. However, they haven’t spread to other organs or parts of the body.
  • Stage IV: Cancer in this stage has spread to other organs or parts of the body. It may be referred to as metastatic or advanced cancer.
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