Stages of AIDS-Related Cancers

Staging is the term oncologists use to define where AIDS-related cancer is located and how much it has spread. Once the stage of AIDS-related cancer is determined, your physician can recommend a particular course of treatment.

Kaposi sarcoma

Most cancer teams use the AIDS Clinical Trials Group system.

T = Tumor: Where is the primary tumor and how large is it?

I = Immune System: What is the CD4 cell count?

S = Systemic Illness: What is the extent of systemic infection or thrush?

It can be difficult to stage AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma because it comes from a disease that itself affects the entire immune system. For this reason, differentiating between which symptoms are due to Kaposi sarcoma and which symptoms are due to AIDS can be challenging. For more information about the stages of Kaposi sarcoma, please visit our Health Library.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is staged using the Roman numerals I, II, III and IV, with IV being the most advanced. A letter may also be added after the Roman numeral to give more information. It may be one of the following:

  • B means you are experiencing fever, night sweats or weight loss.
  • A means you are asymptomatic (not showing the symptoms above).
  • E means the lymphoma has spread outside the lymphatic system.
  • S means that lymphoma has been found in your spleen.

For more information about the stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, please visit our Health Library.