Stage 2

The stage of a cancer tells the doctor about its size and whether it has spread. The tests and scans you have when diagnosing your cancer give some information about the stage.

Doctors use the stage of a cancer to help them decide on treatment. Your doctor may not be able to tell you the exact stage of your cancer until after your surgery, if you are able to have it.

Doctors can use a number system (stages 1 to 4) or the TNM system to stage your cancer. TNM stands for Tumour, Node, Metastases. 

The information here is about stage 2 pancreatic cancer from the number staging system. It is split into 2A and 2B.

Stage 2A

Stage 2A means the cancer is bigger than 4cm but is still within the pancreas. It has not spread to the lymph nodes Open a glossary item or other areas of the body.

In TNM staging, this is the same as T3, N0, M0.

Diagram showing stage 2A cancer of the pancreas

Stage 2B

Stage 2B means the cancer is any size within the pancreas and has spread to no more than 3 nearby lymph nodes. It has not spread anywhere else in the body.

In TNM staging, this is the same as T1, 2 or 3, N1, M0.

Diagram showing stage 2B cancer of the pancreas


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

The stage of the cancer and these other factors can also give an idea of your outlook (prognosis).

Other stages

Last reviewed: 
21 Nov 2019
  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (8th edition)
    American Joint Committee on Cancer
    Springer, 2017

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