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The “stage” of a cancer is a short-hand way of describing the extent of cancer in a patient. Stage is based on macroscopic involvement of tissues by cancer. Staging of cancer occurs prior to the beginning of treatment, or at the first definitive surgery. Clinical staging, which includes radiography and exam findings, takes place initially. Pathologic staging, which is obtained from surgical specimens, can be acquired during the course of surgical treatment. Patients then carry either the clinical stage or the pathologic stage for the duration of their illness. This chapter in Cancer Concepts: A Guidebook for the Non-Oncologist will describe principles of cancer staging.


University of Massachusetts Medical School


Worcester, MA


Cancer staging, neoplasm staging


Cancer Biology | Diagnosis | Neoplasms | Oncology


This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN276201100010C with the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

Staging of Cancer



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