Stage II cancer means cancer cells have grown to nearby tissues but have yet to spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body, states the American Society of Clinical Oncology states. Doctors determine staging using the "TNM" classification system for most types of cancer.
The TNM classification system evaluates the size of the primary tumor (T), amount of spreading to lymph nodes (N), and if the cancer has spread, or metastasized (M), to other parts of the body. Doctors use a variation of tests to determine the cancer classification. According to the National Cancer Institute, doctors use physical exams, laboratory tests, imaging studies, pathology reports and surgery reports, depending on the type of cancer.