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The stage of cancer when found in the human body is how a doctor determines type and length of treatment for a patient. Your average person on the street does not know what the different stages mean. Most people just assume the higher the number, the more advanced the cancer is. They do not know much more than that.
Stage 1 means that the cancer is confined to the organ in which it was originally found. Detecting cancer during this stage provides the best chances of beating it.
Stage 2 still means that the cancer is localized to the area it was originally found in. However, in Stage 2 the tumors are larger than in Stage 1.
Stage 3 is the point at which the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes surrounding the initial area.
Stage 4 cancer, the most advanced stage, is when the cancer has spread to other organs in the body, usually through the blood stream.
It is important to remember that treatments may still be effective beyond the initial stages and a positive mindset is essential in complementing treatment. As technology advances we become more and more successful at combating cancer in the later stages, so having family and friends surround a loved one who has cancer is important in reassuring them of this.