The stage of a cancer tells the doctor about its size and whether it has spread. It helps your doctors decide on which treatment you need.
Stage 3 is part of the number staging system. There are 4 stages of pancreatic cancer, numbered 1 to 4.
Doctors can also use the TNM system to stage your cancer. TNM stands for Tumour, Node, Metastases.
Stage 3 can mean that the cancer is any size within the pancreas and has spread to 4 or more nearby
In TNM staging, this is the same as T1, 2 or 3, N2, M0.
Or stage 3 can mean the cancer has started to grow outside the pancreas into the major blood vessels nearby. It may or may not have spread into the lymph nodes. It hasn't spread to any other areas of the body.
In TNM staging, this is the same as T4, Any N, M0.
Stage 3 cancer may also be called locally advanced cancer.
Treatment for stage 3 pancreatic cancer
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
- if they can remove (resect) the cancer
- other health conditions that you have
The stage of the cancer and these other factors can also give an idea of your outlook (prognosis).
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally the main treatments for stage 3 pancreatic cancer.
Most people start with a course of chemotherapy.
A few people go on to have surgery to remove the cancer. After surgery you usually have more chemotherapy. This usually starts once you have recovered enough from the operation.
If you can’t have surgery, you may have a short course of radiotherapy after chemotherapy. This is called
If you’re not well enough to have surgery or chemotherapy you may have radiotherapy.
If you are not able to have an operation to remove the cancer you may have other types of surgery or a procedure. This is to help control or prevent symptoms. For example, you may have a small tube (stent) put in to the
A small number of people may have a
You may have treatment as part of a