Esophogeal & Stomach Cancer – Types & Stages

World-Class Cancer Centers in Phoenix, AZ

 

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we believe there’s always hope in the fight against cancer no matter how serious the situation might seem. Our expert team of cancer doctors and radiation oncologists work with patients on an individual level, designing personalized treatment plans that fit into patient lifestyles. If you’ve been diagnosed with esophageal or stomach cancer, we can help – but your treatment will depend heavily on the type and stage of your cancer.

 

Types of Esophageal & Stomach Cancer

 

Esophageal and stomach cancer refers to any cancerous growth that originates in the stomach or the esophagus, which is the tube that passes food from the mouth to the stomach. There are several subtypes and specific conditions within the broad category of esophageal and stomach cancer, including adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, transitional cell carcinomas, and other types for both the esophagus and the stomach.

 

Stages of Esophageal Cancer

 

As with most cancers, esophageal cancer is staged using the TNM methodology, which assesses three variables:

 

  • Tumor: The size of the original cancerous growth
  • Node: How much the cancer has spread to lymph nodes
  • Metastasis: Whether or not the cancer has spread to distant part of the body

 

In addition to the TNM method, esophageal cancers are evaluated by grade, which measures how aggressive and fast-growing the cancer is. Esophageal cancer may be graded at five levels:

 

  • G1: Also called well differentiated, these cells look fairly similar to normal esophageal cells.
  • G2: Moderately differentiated. The cells look slightly more abnormal compared to healthy cells.
  • G3: Poorly differentiated. These cancer cells look significantly abnormal.
  • G4: Undifferentiated. The highest grade, this refers to cells that look the most abnormal and are generally the most aggressive.
  • Gx: Your doctor can’t assess the grade of the cancer.

 

All of these variables are assessed holistically to determine the stage of the cancer, which is rated from Stage 0 to Stage IV. The higher the stage, the more serious the condition. The specific stages depend on what kind of esophageal cancer you’re diagnosed with.

 

Stages of Stomach Cancer

 

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is also graded using five-stage, TNM system, but is not evaluated based on grade. The stages of stomach cancer run as follows:

 

  • Stage 0: Also called carcinoma in situ, this refers to the earliest stages of stomach cancer, when it is still confined to the inner layer of the stomach lining. Cancer has spread to neither the lymph nodes nor other organs.
  • Stage IA: At this point, the cancer has grown past the inner layer of stomach lining and into cells below. It has not reached lymph nodes or spread to distant sites.
  • Stage IB: Either the cancer has grown into the layer of connective tissue in the stomach wall and spread to 1-2 lymph nodes, or it has not spread to lymph nodes by grown into the main muscle layer of the stomach wall. In either case, it hasn’t spread to distant sites.
  • Stage IIA: One of the following:
    • The cancer has deeper into the stomach wall but not reached the main muscle layer, and the cancer now affects 3-6 lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown into the main muscle layer and spread to 1-2 lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown completely through the main muscle layer, but not reached any lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIB: One of the following:
    • The cancer has not reached the main muscle layer, but now affects 7 or more nearby lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown into the main muscle layer and affects 3-6 lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown through the main muscle layer, but affects only 1-2 lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown through every layer of the muscle wall but not spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs.
  • Stage IIIA: Any of the following:
    • The cancer has reached the main muscle layer and affects 7 or more nearby lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown through the main muscle layer but not the entire muscle wall, and it now affects 3-6 nearby lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown completely through the stomach wall and spread to 1-2 regional lymph nodes, but not spread to other organs.
  • Stage IIIB: One of the following:
    • The cancer has grown through the main muscle layer but not the entire stomach wall and now affects 7 or more regional lymph nodes.
    • The cancer has grown entirely through the stomach wall and affects 3-6 lymph nodes, but no other organs.
    • The cancer has grown past the stomach wall and spread to nearby organs, but affects no more than 2 nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIC: Either of the following:
    • The cancer has grown completely through the stomach wall and affects 7 or more lymph nodes, but has not spread to other organs.
    • The cancer has grown into nearby organs and affects 3 or more nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV: This applies to any case of stomach cancer that has spread to distant sites and organs like the lungs, brain, or bones.

 

Contact Your Phoenix, AZ Cancer Treatment Experts

No matter what type or stage of cancer you’re facing, the treatment professionals at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists are committed to helping you beat it. We offer a wide range of cancer treatments and will work closely with you to design a comprehensive plan that fits into your lifestyle – so don’t wait. Contact us today to find out how we can help you beat cancer and reclaim the whole-body health you deserve.

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