• Staging -- confusing

    Asked by Jalemans on Friday, August 1, 2014

    Staging -- confusing

    With cancer people talk about "stage". My onc gave me "Stage 1B, level 3". They really emphasize the level & mine is the highest. There also is a lot of fuss about the huge size of the tumor. Basically for me, there was only the 1 tumor, but the cancer cells are in my blood vessels. Lots of people comment that I am "only" stage 1, like it is gone or something.

    My good friend had just been diagnosed with uterine cancer also stage 1 & had hysterectomy. She requires no treatments or anything (glad for her!). But, how can we be at the same "stage" when I am going thru treatments to try to get the cancer out & I have a 70% chance of recurrence which will be resistant to treatments? Plus, I have this stuff going on with my thyroid & now liver?

    The annoying answer is that there is different scale for staging leiomyosarcoma from what I have read. I certainly don't want to be more ill, but I suspect this had an impact with my disability claim. It is just confusing enough already.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • kalindria's Avatar

      Thanks, Ejourneys - I hope so too.

      about 7 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I think the staging gets all confused multiple cancers are involved. I had a very large tumor in my uterus that had pierced the lining. I also had esophageal tumors in the ovaries and uterus, the lymph nodes were affected however the lymph nodes had esophageal cells. So with me the esophageal cancer got the higher rating (IV) and uterine cancer got a IIIb. Since I had two kinds of cancer they decided that they couldn't get a chemo treatment that could kill both cancers and leave me alive. So the doctor went to plan wait and C.

      about 7 years ago
    • MsMope's Avatar

      Cancer is not socialist. Cancer is not fair. That's why you can't compare your cancer, your treatment plan or your experiences to anyone else and expect to see the exact same results.

      Some of us with endometrial cancer have a high grade cancer. The American Cancer Society explains grading on its site. I have a high grade (Grade 3) endometrial cancer - uterine papillary serous carcinoma. You have a different high grade cancer.

      There is also an endometrial cancer type. It's explained on the ACS site. A Grade 3 endometrial is apparently also know as Type 2 cancer. I just call my cancer "Bad Luck Cancer" because nobody knows what causes it and it readily recurs elsewhere in the body.

      Many endometrial cancers (low grade) can be eliminated by removal of the uterus. Bingo! Bango! You're done! Those of us with higher grade cancers are not that lucky. Those of us with cancers that have migrated from the uterus are not that lucky. That's why the name of the cancer, the grade of the cancer, and the stage of the cancer determines the treatment plan.

      If you're confused, don't be. The easy way to end your confusion is to call your oncologist's office and ask for explanations until you're no longer confused. IMO there is no excuse for your confusion. It's one of the few problems related to cancer that you can control.

      about 7 years ago

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