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Once your T, N, and M stages have been determined, your doctor puts them together in a stage grouping. This is used to determine your overall cancer stage. Stage grouping is shown in Roman numerals going from 0 (the earliest stage) to IV (the most advanced stage). The following are the stage groupings used for extrahepatic bile duct cancer—the most common type of bile duct cancer, which occurs in the part of the bile duct outside the liver.
The cancer is only in the innermost layer of the bile duct. It has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites in the body. This is also called carcinoma in situ.
The cancer is in the bile duct wall, but has not grown all the way through it. It has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites in the body.
The cancer has grown through the bile duct wall but has not spread anywhere else.
The cancer invades nearby structures, such as the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. Or it may have spread to smaller branches of the hepatic artery or portal vein, but not into the larger vessels. It has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites.
The cancer is in the bile duct and has spread into lymph nodes but not to distant sites. It may or may not have spread to nearby structures.
The cancer invades the main vein or arteries or part of the small intestine, gallbladder, colon, or stomach. It may or may not have spread to lymph nodes but has not spread to distant sites.
The cancer has spread to distant sites, such as the bones or lungs.
Your doctor considers the stage and your health to recommend a treatment plan. Staging information helps doctors compare your individual situation with other people who have had bile duct cancer. Based on clinical studies done on people in similar stages of the disease, a doctor can make some predictions about how the cancer may act and how different treatments may work.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.