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The stage of a cancer means the size of the tumour and whether or not it has spread beyond where it started in the body. Knowing the extent of the cancer helps doctors decide on the best treatment| for your child.
Staging applies to nearly all cancers apart from leukaemia.
Generally, cancer is divided into four stages:
The cancer is small and only in one place in the body.
The cancer has spread into parts of the body close to where it started.
The cancer is large or may have spread to other parts of the body.
Different cancers| have specific staging systems. The doctors will talk to you about your child’s situation and explain what it means.
If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body it’s known as secondary or metastatic cancer.
Content last reviewed: 1 April 2012
Next planned review: 2014
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
We worked with The Chilidren's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) to make sure you have the information you need about children's cancer.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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