The advancement of cancer is often referred to as stages. The higher the number, the more invasive the cancer has become and usually the larger the tumor is. The highest stage is stage 4.
When cancer is present, it is automatically referred to as stage one.
Stage 1 – Localised Cancer
Abnormal cells are detected in one organ of the body, such as lungs, liver or breast. The cancerous cells have not spread to other parts of the body yet.
Stages 2 & 3 – Regional Cancer
Cancer spreads to nearby tissues or organs. Stage 2 is usually the nearest organs, while stage 3 indicates an even farther spread
Stage 4 – Distant Cancer Spread
It is usually at this stage that the cancerous enter the blood stream. At this stage, cancer can pretty much spread anywhere to the rest of the body.
(Sources: cancerinstitute.org.au and cancer.gov)
Understanding Stage Zero
Stage Zero is when abnormal cells are present, but only in the layer of cells in which they developed. Also called “in situ” or “in the original place”, Stage Zero mean the cancer remains or has become non-invasive to other organs. Stage Zero may become cancer… but it is not cancer yet.
(for more information, see the Patient Active Concept)