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 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 4 pancreatic cancer from the number staging system.
Stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the liver or lungs.
Your doctor might call this advanced (metastatic) cancer.
In TNM staging, this is the same as Any T, Any N, M1.
Treatment for stage 4 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
- other health conditions that you have
The stage of the cancer and these other factors can also give an idea of your outlook (prognosis).
For stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the aim of treatment is to help control or prevent symptoms. Unfortunately, treatment won’t cure this stage of cancer. But it might help you live longer and relieve symptoms.
Generally, the main treatment is chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The treatment you have depends on how well you are.
A small number of people may have a
Other treatments may include:
- surgery or a procedure to prevent or relieve symptoms. For example, you may have a small tube (stent) put into the
bile ductto help clear a blockage and prevent symptoms such as jaundice
- medicines to help with pain control or other symptoms such as sickness
- enzyme replacement therapy to help digest fats and protein if the pancreas is not working properly
- blood sugar control – you may have
diabetesif your pancreas isn’t working properly
You might have treatment as part of a