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What is meant by staging of esophageal cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

In cancer, the word staging refers to the extent of cancer growth and spread. In esophageal cancer, 5 stages exist. Stage 0 is an esophageal cancer that has not grown deeper than the surface cells lining the esophagus. In Stage I esophageal cancer, the cancer has spread through the surface of the esophagus and into the underlying tissues of the esophagus. In Stage II esophageal cancer, the cancer has grown into even deeper layers of the esophagus, or has spread to nearby lymph nodes. In addition to the above characteristics, Stage III esophageal cancers are cancers that have grown through the entire thickness of the esophagus and are now affecting nearby structures like the windpipe or lymph nodes. Finally, Stage IV esophageal cancers are cancers that have spread to organs farther away from the esophagus, like the liver. Specific treatments for each esophageal cancer case are usually based on the stage of the cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.