The 4 Stages of Bone Cancer
Once medical professionals finish testing, establish a baseline and stage the cancer, the prescribe a method of treatment to battle the cancer effectively. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy used alone or in combination as determined by the specific cancer diagnosis.
Stage I Bone Cancer
At the earliest stage, doctors have detected cancer within a single bone, and the abnormal cells are low-grade. Further subdivisions within the category pinpoint the progression of the disease. Stage IA indicates a tumor size of less than 8 centimeters, and stage IB indicates one tumor larger than 8 centimeters or a number of tumors within the same bone. At this point, the cancer has not spread outside the bone.
Stage II Bone Cancer
The grade of the tumor differentiates stage II bone cancer from stage I. Although the cancerous cells are still within the same bone, the cells are high-grade, indicating a greater degree of abnormality, faster development and greater possibility of spreading. Doctors use tumor size to define the state of the cancer within stage II more precisely.
Stage III Bone Cancer
At stage III, the cancer has still not spread from the bone where it originated, but doctors have detected two or more tumors. The diseased cells have a high degree of abnormality.
Stage IV Bone Cancer
Stage IV indicates that cancerous cells formed in the bone have spread outside to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. These metastasizing tumors may be low-grade or high-grade.
Bone cancer patients undergo a series of diagnostic tests to assist doctors in determining the stage of the cancer's progress and the most suitable treatment options. Doctors identify cancer by division into four stages according to tumor size, migration of cancer cells to nearby lymph nodes, metastasis to distant organs, and grade or degree of cell abnormality. Consult your doctor or team of medical professionals regarding testing, diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.