Bone cancer - Disease stages
TNM system for bone cancer
Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. The stage of bone cancer is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options.
The staging guidelines developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) are often used to stage bone cancers, and allow doctors to communicate important information about the cancer with each other in a standardized way. Bone cancer stages are based on four categories:
Stage I bone cancer
At this stage, the cancer cells are still localized to the bone, and the tumor is considered low grade. There are two subcategories for stage I bone cancer:
Stage II bone cancer
These cancers are still localized to the bone, but they are considered high grade. There are two subcategories for stage II bone cancer:
Stage III bone cancer
Primary bone cancers at this stage are still localized to the bone, but they are high grade and have spread to several places within the same bone.
Stage IV bone cancer
Stage IV bone cancer is the most advanced form of the disease. In stage IV, the cancer has spread beyond the bone to other areas of the body. For bone cancer, staging also takes into account how abnormal the cells look under the microscope (the grade).
TNM categories of stage IV bone cancer
In stage IV bone cancer the tumor may be any size and may have grown into the lymph nodes. The cancer may be categorized as stage IVA or IVB. For stage IVA, the cancer has also spread to the lung(s).
Stage IVB bone cancer means that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or the tumor is of any size and grade and has spread to another organ besides the lung. Bone cancer experts typically classify bone cancer stages into localized and metastatic. Stage IV bone cancer is the same as metastatic cancer.
In stage IV bone cancer, surgery is often the recommended course of treatment. Radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapies may also be recommended. We also provide integrative oncology therapies designed to help ease pain and other side effects that may be associated with bone cancer, while improving your quality of life.