General discussion

Bear G

Staging Explained

There can be a lot of confusion around bowel cancer staging, I’ve been seeing this a lot lately here on the forum and on social media. I hope this post will help to clarify things.

The confusion seems to come from the fact that cancer staging, and the Tumour scoring (T) are both 1-4 but they don’t mean the same thing.

What Stage your cancer is informs your treatment plan it’s used to generate the survival statistics we see quoted everywhere and it’s how we can look for people going through a similar path to ourselves, for example “I was Stage 4 at diagnosis”.

I hope the table I’ve included here helps to clarify this, because it’s pasted as a picture it comes at the end of the post.

STAGING (1-4) takes the information from the TNM classification:
T (scored 1-4) gives an indication on your primary Tumour;
N (scored 0-2) says if it has spread into your lymph Nodes;
M (scored 0-1) shows whether or not it has spread (Metastasis) to other organs such as you lungs or liver.

I’ve been helping the charity update the Your Pathway booklet and hope this table will be included in it.

Hope this all helps.
Big hugs
Bear
xx

lorraine grant

Thanks for this. It might be helpful to differentiate between N1. N2 and N0. I was N2 but have no idea how many or where the node were. Also my notes said T3 N2 V0. Can you explain what the V signifies?
Thanks

Bear G

@lorraine grant
N1 means 1-3 nodes close to the bowel are affected
N2 means 4 or more.
I think the V signifies vascular involvement but not sure.
:x::x:

bettebette

Thank you @Bear G a clear and useful graph :x:

terri m

Thanks for this @Bear G .. My husbands work colleague recently was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 38.. He had 3 positive lymph nodes with cancer, but he is convinced he is stage 1😕.. I haven't said anything, has not my place.. I think the medical profession need to be more transparant with their diagnosis. If I didnt ask abut my cancer stagibg I wouldnt of had a clue :x::x::x:

Sasa

I totally agree @terri m , people want to live in denial,but is that ethical???

Sara

terri m
Quote from @Sasa:
I totally agree @terri m , people want to live in denial,but is that ethical???

Sara

No I personally dont think it is @sara.. Also how about family members ect .This affects them too.. There are patients who would rather not know, but if you have some understanding in your diagnosis it will help you in future treatments & advocating your own health. :x::x::x:

lorraine grant

Thanks for that.

dc1

I think its important also to emphasise the intermediate breaks of stage 3, many people don't realise the strangeness of bowel cancer, that after successful treatment stage 3a has a very similar prognosis to stage 1-2

lorraine grant

Are there breaks in stage 4 too?

Bear G

That sounds logical @Ada but I haven’t seen 4a 4b and 4c used in the U.K., hope they will start to use this.
:x::x:

terri m

The american staging is definately very different to ours.. According to that chart. I am a stage 3B instead of a ztage 3C .very strange :x:

dc1

I personally think the Americans are more clued up about how various factors affect prognosis and have studied this in greater detail