Stages of Merkel cell carcinoma
After Merkel cell carcinoma has been diagnosed (found), more tests will be done to find out if cancer cells have spread from the place the cancer started to other parts of the body. The process used to find out whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body is called staging. It is important to know the stage of the disease to plan the best treatment. The following stages are used for Merkel cell carcinoma:
The primary tumor has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They produce and store infection-fighting cells.
The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but has not spread to other parts of the body.
The cancer has spread beyond nearby lymph nodes and to other parts of the body.
Recurrent disease means that the cancer has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. It may come back in the same part of the body or in another part of the body.
Cancer Web UK