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African-American Patient Guide
Educational Module

Tracking the Spread of Cancer (Staging)

(5 of 12 sections)
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The next step is to figure out if, where and how much the cancer has spread. This step is called staging.

Staging is mainly based on the scans described earlier. The staging system based on these tests divides the cancer spread into three stages: potentially resectable (meaning that surgery may be possible), locally advanced, and advanced.

Pancreatic cancer that has not spread outside of the pancreas or into certain veins or arteries is usually potentially resectable.

If the cancer tumor starts to grow into important blood vessels or just outside of the pancreas itself, it is locally advanced.

If the cancer has spread outside the pancreas to other areas like the liver or lungs, it is considered advanced.

Written by: Jasmine Mitchell, University of California Santa Barbara

Edited by: Dale O’Brien, MD, Cancer Patients Alliance

Formatting and content by: Raewyn O’Haire, AB, Cancer Patients Alliance

Consultant: Neil Atam, University of California Santa Barbara

Top Reference

Pancreatic resection: a key component to reducing racial disparities in pancreatic adenocarcinoma
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Click Here for the ACS Journal article