Stages of GIST

Stages of GIST

There are 4 stages of GIST. To determine the cancer's stage, doctors use 4 pieces of information:

  • Where the tumor started
  • The size of the tumor
  • If and where the tumor has spread
  • The mitotic rate (how fast the cancer cells are growing and dividing)

For GIST that starts in the stomach or omentum (a layer of fatty tissue over the organs in the abdomen):

Stage
Definition
Stage IA
  • The tumor is 5 centimeters or less in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage IB
  • The tumor is between 5 and 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage II
  • The tumor is 5 centimeters or less in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is high

OR

  • The tumor is larger than 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage IIIA
  • The tumor is between 5 and 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is high
Stage IIIB
  • The tumor is larger than 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is high
Stage IV
  • The tumor is any size
  • It has spread to nearby lymph nodes and/or distant sites, such as the liver
  • The mitotic rate can be high or low
Image is not actual size

The image below is an example of tumor size.

Golf ball (5 cm)

For GIST that starts in the small intestine, esophagus, colon, rectum, or peritoneum (layer of tissue lining the organs and walls of the abdomen):

Stage
Definition
Stage I
  • The tumor is 5 centimeters or less in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage II
  • The tumor is between 5 and 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage IIIA
  • The tumor is 2 centimeters or less in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is high

OR

  • The tumor is larger than 10 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is low
Stage IIIB
  • The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters in size
  • It has not spread
  • The mitotic rate is high
Stage IV
  • The tumor is any size
  • It has spread to nearby lymph nodes and/or distant sites, such as the liver
  • The mitotic rate can be high or low
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