Esophageal Cancer Staging: TNM Classification

Esophagus cancer staging helps to determine the disease prognosis and to select an appropriate treatment strategy.

TNM is the most commonly used staging system for breast cancer. “T” stands for “Tumor Size”, “N” for “Lymph Nodes”, and “M” for “Metastasis”. Numbers and/or letters after T (is, 1a, 1b, 2, and 3), N (0, 1, 2, and 3), and M (0 and 1) provide more details about each of these factors.

Esophageal Cancer - T Staging - infographic
Esophageal Cancer - T Staging
Esophageal Cancer - N and M Staging

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Before discussing the staging, we will understand the NORMAL ANATOMY OF ESOPHAGUS.

Tis Pre-cancerous or cancerous cells present only in the epithelium of esophagus
T1a Tumor invades mucosa
T1b Cancerous cells present in all layers of the esophagus epithelium and into the middle muscular layer
T2 Tumor invades the muscular layer (muscularis propria)
T3 Tumor invades in the serosa/adventitia
T4a Tumor invades the pleura, pericardium, azygous vein, diaphragm , or peritoneum
T4b Tumor invades other adjacent structures, such as aorta, vertebral body, or airway.
N0 No regional lymph node involvement
N1 Tumor has spread to 1 to 2 regional lymph nodes
N2 Tumor has spread to 3 to 6 regional lymph nodes
N3 Tumor has spread to 7 or more regional lymph nodes
M0 No spread to distant sites
M1 Spread to distant sites like lungs, pleura, peritoneum, liver, bones, etc

Watch the video below where Cancerbro explains the TNM STAGING OF ESOPHAGEAL CANCER.

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