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.
The cancer may have grown larger. It has started to spread to a small number of lymph nodes near the pancreas, or to the bile duct or first part of the small intestine (duodenum). It hasn’t spread to large blood vessels near the pancreas.
The cancer has spread further outside your pancreas. It may have spread to the stomach, spleen, or large blood vessels near the pancreas. This is usually locally advanced cancer but it may occasionally be borderline resectable cancer.
The cancer has spread to other parts of your body. This is advanced or metastatic cancer. It may also be called inoperable cancer.