Carolinas HealthCare System

The staging of esophageal cancer is a process in which healthcare providers determine how much a cancer has spread into the esophagus or nearby organs, whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, whether it has spread to more distant organs, and the grade of the cancer. This information – expressed in stages 0 through IV – is based on multiple tests, including imaging studies, endoscopies and biopsies.
The stage of esophageal cancer often dictates treatment and is used to determine a patient’s prognosis. For example, “stage 0” cancer represents the earliest stage, while “stage 5” means the cancer has spread beyond the esophagus.