Cirrhosis is the progression of liver disease in which severely damaged liver cells have been replaced by scar tissue, preventing natural healing. Stage 3 cirrhosis of the liver refers to the size of the tumors and the extent to which the cancer has spread.
Staging allows physicians to categorize the degree to which a cancer has metastasized or spread, develop a prognosis and establish the most effective treatment options.
System for Staging
The TNM system utilizes three key pieces of information: T describes the number and size of primary tumors, N describes the degree of spread to nearby lymph nodes and M indicates if the cancer has metastasized to organs. A series of numbers and letters placed after T, N and M provide greater detail about the number, size and metastasis of the tumors.
Stage IIIA: T3, N0, M0: Either there are several tumors, and at least one is larger that 5 cm in diameter; or a tumor is growing into a branch of the major liver blood vessels.
Stage IIIB: T4, N0, M0: A tumor is growing into a nearby organ; or a tumor has grown into the outer covering of the liver.
Stage IIIC: T, N, M1: The cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes.