“So when you get your initial cancer diagnosis, everyone wants to know what stage is it. The value and what a stages is basically gives you an idea, how likely is it to come back? It’s not necessarily how aggressive is the behavior of the cancer itself. That’s not what stage means necessarily in most cases. It just means how advanced at the time of diagnosis is it to where you have a higher, lower chance of it returning. And by returning, it really means persisting as in the cells are somewhere else that we can’t see. And we know that when these patients, after these definitive therapies that they get eventually recur, when really it was probably persistent disease that we couldn’t find somewhere. So the smaller something is, and the less invasive it is at time of diagnosis, the earlier the stage. So ideally you want to be stage one. That means that whatever those algorithms or technicalities are for the cancer type, you want to be so early that it’s small.
And oftentimes with stage one, not in the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are basically like the highway for cancer to jump on and go to other places. It’s literally like different neighborhoods leaving and they got onto a highway and they go a couple of exits down. Each exit is a lymph node. And that’s sometimes what we look at for colon cancer and breast cancer. We look to see how many lymph nodes did it start going? How many exits did the cancer start going to from the primary site. The lymph system is something we have already, it helps reduce a lot of the fluid in our body. It returns into our heart. So it’s it’s a highway system, just like the blood system is. So oftentimes lymph nodes, if they’re present, is going to put you into a stage two or usually a stage three with most cancers. And again, it’s two or three with the lymph node involvement, because that means it’s just a higher chance that you may have a recurrence or persistence that we see down the road.”