stage III stages ???

alta29 Member Posts: 435 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I just read a post of one of our fellow semi-colons saying that her /his oncologist kindly refer to her as a stage 3.5. That reminded me that I had a nurse that once told me that I was almost a stage 3 (Doctor told me stage IV) (everything was removed on surgery)that also reminded me that I once read that there where different stages 3 ...something like a,b,c Does any of you know the difference ?
God bless


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Do you know that they used to check staging by doing SURGERY??? AFTER chemo???? I heard that from an 18-year ovarian cancer survivor. SHE refused to let them. Just weeks later the practice was stopped!
    I was Stage nodes or I can be of little or no help....sigh...*hangs head, slinks away*
    HUGS, Kathi
  • alihamilton
    alihamilton Member Posts: 347 Member
    Here is the staging. My impression is that staging is done at surgery if that is before any chemo radiation. I am not sure if involvement of lymph nodes can clearly be seen on a CT scan, but I maybe wrong. I do know that when my husband was dx he was told it was probably either stage 11 or 111 and after surgery he was told stage 111.

    Hope this helps

    "Stage IIIA: T1-2, N1, M0:
    The cancer has grown through the mucosa into the submucosa or it may also have grown into the muscularis propria, and it has spread to 1-3 nearby lymph nodes but not distant sites.

    Stage IIIB: T3-4, N1, M0:
    The cancer has grown through the wall of the colon or rectum or into other nearby tissues or organs and has spread to 1-3 nearby lymph nodes but not distant sites.

    Stage IIIC: Any T, N2, M0:
    The cancer can be any T but has spread to 4 or more nearby lymph nodes but not distant sites."
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
    I think it was me who wrote in saying my oncologist had referred to me as Stage 3.5. It was more of a joke (well, an informality) than any formal classification. My story in brief: diagnosed officially as rectal Stage III B (T3, N1, M0). Treated. Two years later, I had a metastasis to the lung. Luckily, it was very small, and could be removed surgically. It was in the context of "should i have chemo" after the second surgery that my oncologist said "3.5". Officially, I had no detectable cancer in my body. But, I had already had a metastasis -- and likely to be some "nasties" floating about out there. We all (including my other docs) agreed that I wd have more chemo. So, "3.5" wasn't anything official/medical. But, it did remind me that we are all unique -- with a unique story and situation. And, if we are lucky, docs who recognize that.
  • pink05
    pink05 Member Posts: 550
    My dad was first staged at 3c. They did the standard CAT scan first, followed by a PET scan because of some questionable spots on liver and lung. The PET did show some lymph nodes that were positive, however wasn't accurate on how many. It also did not reveal any cancer anywhere else. During surgery was when the surgeon had a better picture of what was going on, but that wasn't the final staging process because he had to send everything he took out to the lab. The stage of my dad's cancer depended on the final pathology report which revealed 8/30 nodes positive, thus he was declared stage 3c.

    The twist to this story is that my dad's oncologist insisted on doing another CAT scan about two months after surgery, before chemo. This scan apparently revealed a couple mets to the liver, so my dad's onc restaged him to 4. I didn't think that they do repeat scans after surgery for staging, but in this case, I guess the onc. felt it needed to be done.