TNM Staging



What is the TNM staging? Is it the same with stages of cancer? It is a method essentially similar to the commonly used staged.

Which is better?

TNM system is because it is a more detailed malignant tumor staging system for solid cell abnormalities.

TNM stands for "Tumor", "Nodes" and "Metastases".

The T describes the size of the malignant tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue,

the N describes the regional lymph nodes that are involved, and

the M describes distant metastasis or the spread of cancer within the body.

The TNM staging system for all solid tumors was created by Pierre Denoix between 1943 and 1952.

Each criterion is separate and the stage is represented by a number between 0-4. For example, a T1N3M0 cancer would mean a cancer with a T1 tumor, an N2 involvement of the lymph and no metastases is present.

The TNM classification can be difficult for the lay person to understand and so the traditional 4 stages of cancer is still being used to explain your cancer.

However, most doctors today talk more about a malignant tumor using the TNM classification. This staging system is also more useful than the more commonly used 4 stages in planning treatment for cancer.

Also, within the TNM system, a cancer can be classified as recurrent as it is common for cancer to appear months or years after all visible tumor has been removed.

This is unfortunate but it happens because it is possible that either:

  • a tiny piece of the malignant tumor was left behind after the first surgery which later grows into another tumor, or
  • some cancer cells had already broken away and deposited in distant locations but were not visible tumors yet at the time of surgery.

When these things happen, having a cancer in the past can be what causes cancer of a new and different type to develop in the future. Most common types of cancer have their own TNM classification. But the TNM classification doesn't work for all cancers. Brain cancer and most cancers involving the blood like leukemia don't have TNM classification.


Other Pages You Might Like:

Cancer Classifications: Sarcoma, Carcinoma, Leukemia and Lymphoma | Common Types of Cancer In Men and Women | Kinds of Cancer | Leading Types of Cancer | Rare Types of Cancer | General Signs for Cancer | Stages of Cancer | Statistics for Cancer - Facts on Death Statistics

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