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what does the stage mean?

Jaye
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

hi,

I'm new to this. Would just like to ask what does the stages mean in hodgkins diagnosis. Is stage 4 the most serious stage? what stage would be the terminal stage?

Jaye

josuit
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Stage means how far the disease has progressed. Stage one and two (in Hodgkins) is usually confined to above the diaphram while stage 3 and 4 is above and below the diaphram. Staging is done to determine the type of treatment one should get. It helps the doctors figure out what is best for that particular patient. Each stage also has stages. When I was diagnosed, I was stage 3a. When they took my spleen out,they found a .3mm spot on it so the disease had spread below the diaphram. Therefore it was determind that chemo followed by radiation was the best treatment for me. If I had a .3mm spot on my spleen, where might I have had another .3mm spot. I realize now I had the best treatment for my disease but back then the thoughts of having chemo didn't thrill me too much. Thank God for my doctors. Stage 4 would be the most serious of the 4 stages but keep in mind that Hodgkins is a curable cancer even in the 4th stage. Just a note. I was diagnosed and treated 14 years ago and am fine now. I just celebrated my 50th birthday and plan on living another 50 years (at least). Good luck to you.

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

Stage means where and what areas of the body are involved. I was a stage 2B. Stages 1 and 2 are above the diaphragm, 3 involves an organ, and 4 usually means it's in the bone marrow. "A" means asymptomatic, and "B" means systemic - or having other symptoms like having night sweats for example. It used to be that the stage indicated how serious the cancer was and it was assumed that the higher the number the less likely you were to be a survivor. That isn't so true anymore. The Hodgkins treatments today are so advanced that even in the case of stage 4 patients, if they can get all the cancer with the first rounds of treatment, Hodgkins has an over 90% cure rate according to my doctor.

They didn't get all of mine the first time, so it came back. But I had a stem cell transplant and am doing just great.

psmith
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I was diagnosed with stage IIB hodgkins in June 2002. I had the Stanford V treatment and radiation which ended in December 2002. I had my port removed because everyone thought I was in complete remission. In February 2003, a biopsy showed that it was back. I'm now undergoing ICE chemo and will have a stem cell transplant next month. I have tolerated the chemo really well but I'm nervous about the transplant. How much worse did you feel with the transplant vs. the other chemo? What was the worst part of it all?

michelle77
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2003

Hi Jaye! My name is Michelle. I'm a HD survivor for over 12 years, I'm now 26. I had treatment from age 13 to 14. I'm new to the web-site & saw your posting from april I think. Anyway I'm trying to connect with other survivors, since we've all benn through the same stuff. How old were you when diagnosed? How long have you been cancer-free? Drop me a line whenever you get a chance. Take care.
-Michelle

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