Staging is important for cancer as it helps to chart out a treatment protocol. However, when it comes to malignant brain tumor, there is no standard prescription for staging it. Basically a brain tumor is classified based on the type of cells in which the cancer develops.
However, here is one staging system used to classify brain tumors and you will see how the first stage of malignant brain tumor is very different from the final stages. Staging a malignant brain tumor gives an indication as to how far the cancer has spread and what parts are affected. The most common staging system is the TNM method.
The TNM method stands for the following:
T: Size of the brain tumor
N: Degree to which the regional lymph nodes are involved
M: Whether metastases has taken place
It is only after TNM has been charted will the brain tumor be staged. A brain tumor is staged as Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. Stage IV is the final stage where the tumor is classified as being inoperable and the prognosis is very poor. Stages II and III are considered to be advanced; while Stage I is the first stage when the spread of cancer is local and usually treatable.
Final Stages of Malignant Brain Tumor:
The final stages of malignant brain tumor would be stage IV. This is the stage when the cancer has spread to the adjoining brain tissue. In this stage, the tumor grows very rapidly as it induces the formation of new blood vessels so that it gets sufficient oxygen and nutrients to feed on. The tumor reproduces the cells rapidly and can contain dead cells in the center. The most common stage IV malignant brain tumor is known as glioblastoma multiforme, which is nearly always fatal.
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