Stage of the cancer
The stage of your cancer describes the size of the cancer and whether it has spread around the pancreas or to other parts of the body.
Your doctor may tell you the stage of your cancer, and explain exactly what it means and how it affects your treatment options. Some doctors may just focus on whether or not your cancer can be removed with surgery, rather than the stage.
There are two types of staging. One type of staging uses numbers to describe the stage of the cancer.
The cancer is contained inside your pancreas. This is early, localised pancreatic cancer. This is also called operable cancer. Read more about stage 1 cancer.
The cancer may have grown larger. It may have spread to a small number of lymph nodes near the pancreas. Lymph nodes are small glands found around the body that are part of the immune system. The cancer hasn’t spread to large blood vessels near the pancreas. Read more about stage 2 cancer.
The cancer has spread outside the pancreas. It may have spread to the large blood vessels near the pancreas, or to a number of lymph nodes. This is usually locally advanced cancer but it may occasionally be borderline resectable cancer. Read more about stage 3 cancer.
The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It may have spread to the lungs, liver or lining of your tummy (peritoneum). This is advanced or metastatic cancer. Read more about stage 4 cancer.