The stage of appendix cancer is determined by the tumor’s size and how far it has progressed. The National Cancer Institute says that appendix cancer stages may also be described as:
Localized: Cancer is found in the appendix, colon, rectum, small intestine and/or stomach only.
Regional: Cancer has spread from the appendix, colon, rectum, stomach and/or small intestine to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
Metastatic: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Carcinoid tumors and carcinomas are staged differently. Treatment for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors is not based on the stage of the cancer, but instead on whether the tumor may be removed by surgery and whether the tumor has spread.
Stage 0: The cancer is found in only one location and has not spread. This stage is also known as appendix cancer in situ.
Stage I (stage 1 appendix cancer): The cancer has spread to the inner layers of appendix tissue but not to the regional lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Stage II (stage 2 appendix cancer): There are three subcategories of stage II appendix cancer: IIA, IIB and IIC. The categories differ by the extent to which the cancer has spread:
Stage III (stage 3 appendix cancer): Stage three is also divided into three subcategories:
Stage IV (stage 4 appendix cancer): The most advanced stage of appendix cancer has three sub-categories:
Next topic: How is appendix cancer diagnosed?