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Pancreatic Cancer Staging: TNM Classification

The pancreatic cancer staging helps to determine the disease prognosis and to select an appropriate treatment strategy. TNM is the most commonly used for pancreatic cancer staging.

“T” stands for “Tumor Size”, “N” for “Lymph Nodes”, and “M” for “Metastasis”. Numbers and/or letters after T (is, 1, 2, 3, and 4), N (0 and 1), and M (0 and 1) provide more details about each of these factors. Once T, N, and M categories are determined, this information is combined to assign an overall stage (from 0 to IV).

Pancreatic Cancer - T Staging - Infographic
Pancreatic Cancer - T Staging
Pancreatic Cancer - N and M Staging - Infographic
Pancreatic Cancer - N and M Staging

Before discussing the staging, we will understand the NORMAL ANATOMY of pancreas and surrounding structures.

Following table describe the characteristics according to different of pancreatic cancer staging:

STAGE TNM DESCRIPTION
O Tis N0 M0 Pre-cancerous or cancer cells present only in the superficial layer of pancreatic duct cells
IA T1 N0 M0 Cancer cells limited to pancreas and measures </=2 cm in largest dimension
IB T2 N0 M0 Cancer cells limited to pancreas and measures >2 cm in largest dimension
IIA T3 N0 M0 Cancer cells have invaded the nearby organs such as duodenum, spleen, left kidney/adrenal gland, or splenic vein/superior mesenteric vein/portal vein
IIB T1-3 N1 M0 Cancer cells either limited to the pancreas or invaded in the nearby organs such as duodenum, spleen, left kidney/adrenal gland, or splenic vein/superior mesenteric vein/portal vein and have spread to nearby lymph nodes
III T4 N0-1 M0 Cancer has invaded into the superior mesenteric artery or celiac artery and has spread to nearby lymph nodes
IV Any T Any N M1 Cancer that has spread to the distant important organs such as lungs, bones, liver, peritoneum, and brain

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Watch the video below where Cancerbro explains the TNM STAGING of pancreatic cancer.

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