Friday, August 2, 2013

Stage 4 Brain Cancer Survival Rate

Because staging the cancer can take some time patients are anxious to drop the process and directly begin treatment. Stage 4 Brain Cancer Survival Rate But the fact is that determining cancer stages automatically helps your health care team and you to know the exact position of your cancer and determine which cancer treatment is suitable or the best for you.

What is staging:
Staging is generally a process whereby one can find out the precise cancer stages in relation to growth, location and type. The information is then used by the doctors in order to plan the best treatment for the patient and predict the prognosis. In this way certain cancers at the same stage would be treated in a similar manner. These stages of cancer are also ways for doctors to refer to the extent of cancers in particular patients.

It is very important to know details about stages in cancer especially as doctors have to know the location of the cancer in the body and the amount of cancer present in the body so as to ensure that the patient gets the best treatment possible. For example, if a patient's breast cancer has been detected early, then the best treatment for her would be either surgery or radiation. But if the breast cancer has been detected at an advanced stage the treatment would be chemotherapy. By studying the cancer stages doctors can also predict the course that the cancer will most likely take.

These stages are based to ascertain the following three factors:
The size of the primary/original tumor and whether the tumor has spread into areas nearby.
Whether the cancer has grown/spread into the lymph nodes.
Whether the cancer has grown/spread to other distant areas of the patient's body.

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Cancers like leukemia cannot be staged like this as they are spread in all parts of the body through the blood. In the same way brain cancers are also not staged using the normal TNM system as they disrupt body and brain functions even before they spread.

Different information about a particular type of cancer is gathered by the doctor before determining cancer stages. Staging would therefore depend on the location of the cancer which can be done by physical examination, CT scans, MRIs, X-rays etc. It is necessary to perform biopsies (removal of tumors or pieces of cancerous tumors) to confirm whether they are benign or malignant. These samples are removed during surgery or biopsy procedures that are less invasive.

Types of determining stages or "staging procedures":
Clinical Staging: Done during "diagnosis" before any type of treatment is administered.
Pathologic Staging: Done on patients who have undergone surgery to either take out the cancer or to determine the amount of cancer in the body.
Restaging: Done if the cancer recurs (comes back) after treatment to find out the extent and helps to decide the best treatment.

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