Sarcoma staging refers to how much cancer there is in the body, how aggressive it appears, and where it’s located. It includes the tumor's:
- Grade: Low-grade means the cancer grows and spreads slowly. Mid-grade means the cancer is somewhat likely to grow and spread quickly. High-grade means the cancer is likely to grow and spread quickly.
- Size: Whether the tumor is smaller or larger than five centimeters, the size of a lime.
- Location: Whether the tumor is superficial (beneath the skin with no spread into connective tissue or muscle below) or deep (in the muscle and may be in connective or subcutaneous tissue).
Sarcomas fall into one of these four stages:
- Stage IA: The tumor is low-grade (likely to grow and spread slowly) and about the size of a lime (five centimeters) or smaller. It may be superficial or deep.
- Stage IB: The tumor is low-grade, and larger than five centimeters.
- Stage IIA: The tumor is mid-grade (somewhat likely to grow and spread quickly) to high-grade (likely to grow and spread quickly) and five centimeters or smaller. It may be superficial or deep.
- Stage IIB: The tumor is mid-grade, and larger than five centimeters.
- Stage III: The tumor is either:
- High-grade, larger than five centimeters and either superficial or deep.
- Any grade, any size and has spread to nearby lymph nodes
- Stage IV: The tumor is any grade, any size, and may have spread to nearby lymph node, and cancer has spread (metastasized) to distant body parts, such as the lungs.