Treating All Stomach Cancer Stages in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey

A cancer’s progression is one of the factors that determines how the cancer should be treated. Oncologists use a system called “staging” to track progression of stomach cancer and plan treatment.   

In Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, Regional Cancer Care Associates specialists can provide an accurate diagnosis for a specific stage of stomach cancer for you or a loved one. From there, we’ll deploy our multidisciplinary, patient-focused approach to form the best course of treatment and help you defeat the disease.

Cancer Staging Explained

Scientists performing lab analysis

A cancer’s stage refers to how medical professionals describe the cancer’s progression and location, both of which are vital pieces of information for oncologists to consider during treatment. Stomach cancer stages are most often defined using the TNM system, devised by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). The TNM system is named for the three factors it uses to evaluate the cancer, including:

  • Tumor: What is the size of the tumor? How far has the cancer grown into the five layers of the stomach wall? Has it reached nearby structures or organs?
  • Nodes: Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes?
  • Metastasis: Has the cancer metastasized, ie, spread to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, or brain?

Once a patient’s TNM categories have been established, the information is combined in a process called stage grouping, at which point the stage is defined.

Stages of Stomach Cancer

Using the TNM system, Regional Cancer Care Associates can accurately determine the stage of a stomach cancer. This can be any of the following:

  • Stage 0: The cancer is in the stomach’s innermost lining. This stage is also known as carcinoma in situ, abbreviated as Tis.
  • Stage I: The cancer has spread into the stomach’s deeper layers and might also be present in the stomach wall’s main layer.
  • Stage II: The cancer has grown completely through the stomach’s muscle layer or has reached nearby lymph nodes. However, it has not spread elsewhere.
  • Stage III: The cancer has infiltrated the stomach wall or has reached close organs or structures. At this stage, it still has not spread to distant areas.
  • Stage IV: The cancer has spread to the lungs, liver, brain, or other distant organs.

Stages 1, 2, and 3 may be further broken down into A, B, or C classifications, depending on the TNM data.

Pathologic vs. Clinical Staging

Typically, the best way to determine the stage of stomach cancer is by performing a biopsy, referred to as pathologic staging. However, in some cases – such as if the cancer is believed to be deep in the stomach wall – the procedure is not possible right away or at all. That’s when clinical staging is used instead. Clinical staging relies on the results from tests, such as a physical exam or imaging, to determine the cancer’s stage.

Receive Treatment for Any Stage of Stomach Cancer

For patients with stomach cancer in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, Regional Cancer Care Associates offers the expertise to diagnose, stage, and provide the most effective treatment possible. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact Regional Cancer Care Associates today.