Cancer staging is the process of documenting the location of your cancer, if it has spread to other parts of the body and which parts of the body it has spread to.
Solid cancers (or tumours), for example breast, lung and colorectal cancer, are often staged using the TNM system and this information is then used to determine a stage between I and IV.
Blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma are staged differently.
As each cancer uses different staging methods, a particular stage for one type of cancer is not equal to the same stage in another type of cancer. For example, Stage III lung cancer has a different meaning to Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Staging is done when you are first diagnosed (before any treatment is given), after completion of treatment and at relapse or disease progression.