All forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), are divided into four stages, based on how far the disease has spread.
Stages I and II are considered localized, while stages III and IV are considered advanced, widespread or disseminated. Knowing the stage of a person’s lymphoma helps their healthcare team to determine the most appropriative and effective treatment plan for them.
THE FOUR STAGES OF NON-HODGKIN LYMPHOMA
Stage I (early disease): The cancer is found only in a single lymph node region OR in one organ or area outside the lymph node.
Stage II (locally advanced disease): The cancer is found in two or more lymph node regions on one side of the diaphragm (the breathing muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest).
Stage III (advanced disease): The disease involves lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm.
Stage IV (widespread disease): The lymphoma cells are found in several parts of one or more organs or tissues (in addition to the lymph nodes). Or, it is in the liver, blood, or bone marrow.