Types and Stages

Esophageal and Stomach Cancer Types and Stages

Diagnosing cancer involves collecting a lot of highly precise information. Even once cancer has been confirmed, its type and stage have to be described. Gathering this information with the help of precise tests and screenings will help your treatment team develop the most effective response. Patients in Palmer seeking esophageal and stomach cancer treatment are likely to hear about the TNM system.

Accurately Describing Stomach and Esophageal Cancer

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) developed a special system to describe stomach cancer called the TNM system. This uses three specific pieces of data:

  • T – The first part of the system describes the size of the primary stomach tumor and its growth
  • N – The second provides information about any stomach cancer found in nearby lymph nodes
  • M – The third category indicates whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the body (metastasized)

Each category is represented by a numerical value which increases according to severity. Once this information is established, these categories are then sorted into stomach cancer stages.

Collecting Information About Cancer

As the type and stage of cancer are being determined, doctors may utilize a variety of tests and procedures to collect more information about the patient’s health. Doctors will often spend time speaking with patients about family health history, including any instances of stomach or esophageal cancer in parents, grandparents, and siblings. Doctors may also conduct biopsies, procedures that collect a small amount of tissue from a tumor or suspected tumor. This tissue is closely examined and compared to examples of normal and cancerous cells to determine the precise nature of the tumor.

Patients can also learn more about cancer by utilizing educational resources developed especially with them in mind. Family members can also learn about their loved one’s health and about what might be involved in treatment.

Use these links to find out more about esophageal and stomach cancer:

Contact the Experts Today

The Mat-Su Valley Palmer cancer center team is here to help; contact us today to schedule an appointment.