Find out what stage 4 oesophageal cancer means and about treatment options.
The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it’s spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.
Stage 4 means that your cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, such as your liver or lungs.
The TNM staging system stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis.
- T describes the size of the tumour
- N describes whether there are any cancer cells in the lymph nodes
- M describes whether the cancer has spread to a different part of the body
In the TNM staging system stage 4 is the same as Any T, Any N, M1.
The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:
- your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
- where the cancer is
- other health conditions that you have
You may have either
- symptom control eg. treatment to help you swallow food
- trastuzumab (Herceptin) biological therapy if your cancer is in the gastro oesophageal junction area and has HER2 protein on the cells