Staging ’cancer’

    appreciation of the level of development of a cancer, divided into three criteria summarized with the characters TNM

    1. T refers to the originating tumor status

    • T1 tumours are small tumors, usually not seen during physical or visual examination
    • T2 tumours are identified tumors that remain inside the original organ (e.g. prostate)
    • T3 tumours have broken through the covering or membrane of the original organ but have not yet spread into other organs
    • T4 tumours have spread into other body organs

    2. N refers to the level of invasion of lymph node cells by tumor cells

    • NX – The lymph nodes cannot be checked
    • N0 – There are no cancer cells in lymph nodes close to the primary tumor
    • N1 – Cancer cells have been detected in lymph nodes

    3. M provides the status of the metastases distribution

    • M0 – No cancer has spread outside the primary tumor
    • M1 – Cancer has spread outside the primary tumor

    Oncologists use also subsclassifications of T2, T3 and M1.