Staging cancer is a way for your healthcare provider to communicate how far your cancer has spread based on results from imaging tests, biopsies and other exams. Your cancer’s stage will help determine treatment and prognosis.
Using information, such as the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs, a stage is assigned. Stage 0 tumors are considered noninvasive and represent the earliest form of cancer, while stage IV signifies an advanced cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or distant organs. This information will help your doctor decide whether the malignancy can be removed through surgery (resectable) or not (unresectable).
Other liver cancer staging systems may be also be used in conjunction with the system described here. These factor in liver function, which may affect treatment options and prognosis.