One of the first questions patients often asked when diagnosed with cancer is: “What stage is my cancer?”
That’s an important and telling question when it comes to treatment options and survival rates.
But we all must remember and recognize that patients are not statistics. They are individuals with families, goals, dreams, and a desire to beat their cancer diagnosis.
Let’s take a look at cancer staging, but remember, patients have choices, and opinions that all play a crucial role in cancer survival.
Stages of Cancer
While there are different systems used to stage cancer, the TNM system is the most commonly used, according to the American Cancer Society.
Here is a Breakdown of the TNM System:
- T describes the primary tumor.
- N indicates whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- M tells whether the cancer has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body.
These determinations are made through a series of tests like imaging, biopsies and lab tests.
Doctors also look at the grade of the cancer – meaning how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. Low grade means the cells look fairly normal. High grade means they look abnormal.
Once the TNM is determined, cancers are given a stage – typically from Stage I to Stage IV. Stage I cancers are less advanced and tend to have a better outlook. The higher the stage the more advanced the cancer.
Some cancers also have a stage O – often called carcinoma in situ. This is common with very early breast cancer, and it means the cancer is only in the layers of the cells where it originated, and it hasn’t spread.
Keep in mind within each stage of cancer there are sub-stages as well.
Hodgkin, non-Hodgkin lymphomas and some other cancers use other staging systems.
Stages and Survival Rates
Survival rates are typically based on the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. And that is a very scary reality for many patients and their families.
But the experts at the CyberKinfe Center of Miami believe it is very important for patients to know, that survival rates are just statistics. We treat the patient, regardless of the statistics.
Cancer Treatment Center Miami
“We’ve had quite a few patients call us and say their cancer is so advanced they were told they have no treatment options. Of course, they feel hopeless but most often they do have options and we can help many of these patients,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, medical director of CyberKnife Miami and board-certified radiation oncologist. “We always say, we want to look at your scans and tests at the time we talk to you. We’ve treated some of the most difficult, complicated cases, helping patients live long beyond their statistical survival rates. The message here is patients must be their own advocates. We are here to help. What really matters is the type of treatment a patient receives, how they respond to it and a positive attitude can help a great deal too.”
CyberKnife Miami is the most experienced CyberKnife treatment center in South Florida, with a very experienced team. That’s why we can take on difficult cases and treat patients who were told they could not be helped at other cancer facilities. We can offer hope when there is none due to our expert team and treatment plans.
Cancer Treatment in Miami, FL
CyberKnife Miami uses state-of-the-art image guided radiosurgery treatments to treat cancer and other medical issues requiring radiation.
We treat spine, brain, breast, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, prostate, lymph node, metastatic and head and neck tumors. We also treat lymphoma and other conditions in the body where radiation treatment is necessary.
Cyberknife offers painless radiation treatments, which can be an alternative to surgery. With CyberKnife’s precision, we can treat difficult cases which are deemed inoperable or areas that already had prior radiation therapy.
If you are interested in learning more about CyberKnife Miami call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our website now www.cyberknifemiami.com.