Adrenal Cancer: Stages

What does stage of cancer mean?

The stage of a cancer is how much and how far the cancer has spread in your body. Your healthcare provider uses exams and tests to find out the size of the cancer and where it is. He or she can also see if the cancer has grown into nearby areas, and if it has spread to other parts of your body. The stage of a cancer is one of the most important things to know when deciding how to treat the cancer.

What are the stages of adrenal cancer?

There are 4 stages of adrenal cancer. They use the Roman numerals 1, II, III, and IV. Lower numbers mean the earliest stage, or the least amount of cancer. Higher numbers mean the cancer is at a more advanced stage.

Stage I. The tumor is 5 centimeters (cm) or less and is only in the adrenal gland.

Stage II. The tumor is larger than 5 cm and is only in the adrenal gland.

Stage III. In this stage, the tumor is any size and 1 of the following is true:

  • The tumor has grown into the fat outside the adrenal gland.

  • The tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV. In this stage, the tumor is any size and 1 of the following is true:

  • The tumor has spread to fat and lymph nodes near the adrenal gland.

  • The tumor has spread to nearby organs.

  • The tumor has spread to distant parts of the body.

Talking with your healthcare provider

Once your cancer is staged, your healthcare provider will talk with you about what the stage means for your treatment. Make sure to ask any questions or talk about your concerns.