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There are four basic adenocarcinoma stages, although some doctors recognize stage zero as well. In the beginning stages of this form of cancer, the tumor is isolated to one region of the body. As the disease progresses, lymph nodes and surrounding tissues may become involved. In the later adenocarcinoma stages, the cancer may spread throughout the body until surgery is no longer able to remove the cancerous cells and chemotherapy or radiation treatments become necessary. Any specific questions or concerns about the different adenocarcinoma stages and appropriate treatment options for an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Stage zero is considered the least dangerous of all of the adenocarcinoma stages. In this stage, cancerous cells have been located, but they have not begun to grow enough to spread outside the original location. This is the easiest form of cancer to treat, and surgical removal of the cancerous tissue usually eradicates the disease completely. Some doctors consider stage zero to be pre-cancerous and do not include it in the list of adenocarcinoma stages.
Adenocarcinoma tumors that are diagnosed at stage one are generally treated through surgical intervention. This cancerous growth is still isolated to one part of the body, although it may extend into more than one layer of tissue. In most cases, all of the cancer cells are able to be removed through one surgical procedure.
The next two adenocarcinoma stages become a little harder to treat. In stage two, the cancer has begun to spread into surrounding tissues and organs and may involve one or more lymph nodes. Surgical intervention may be attempted in some cases, although additional treatment methods, such as radiation or chemotherapy, may be used as well. The only real difference between these adenocarcinoma stages is the extent to which the tumor has spread.
The final and most dangerous of the adenocarcinoma stages is stage four. By the time the cancer has reached this stage, the disease has spread throughout multiple areas of the body. Several lymph nodes may be affected, and surgery is no longer considered a viable treatment option. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments may be used alone or in combination with one another in an attempt to control the disease process, although this stage often proves to be fatal. Regular visits to a doctor can often lead to the tumor being diagnosed early enough to be removed without the risk of death.