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Pancreatic cancer staging

The progression of PDAC is described by 4 stages, with stage determined by:

  • tumor size and location
  • local lymph node or blood vessel involvement
  • extent of metastasis (that is, has the cancer spread to distant lymph nodes and/or other organs?)

In the early stages (I and II), the disease has not spread or has only spread into nearby tissue, at which time the tumor is typically resectable by surgical procedure. At stage III, the cancer has spread into nearby blood vessels and lymph nodes. At stage IV, distant organs such as the lungs or liver may be involved. At these later stages, surgical resection is no longer possible.

Further information about the stages of PDAC can be found on the American Cancer Society website.