Template:Breast cancer staging

From patholines.org
Revision as of 10:58, 1 March 2022 by Mikael Häggström (talk | contribs) (→‎Regional Lymph Nodes (N): Or non-sentinel)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Stage by the TNM system as follows in sections below.

Also, look for any angiolymphatic invasion. If present, check whether it reaches outside the tumor, and if so, how far.[1] Give greatest dimension (,or 3 dimensions, generally by adding up the estimated thicknesses of involved slices)).[1]

Primary Tumor (T)

Tumor – Depends on the tumor at the primary site of origin, as follows:[2]

Measurements can be made by marking the tumor on microscopy, and then measuring between the markings, which may overlap between multiple slides as shown.
  • T1: Less than 2 cm
  • T1a: 0.1 to 0.5 cm
  • T1b: 0.5 to 1.0 cm
  • T1c: 1.0 to 2.0 cm
  • T2: 2 to 5 cm
  • T3: Larger than 5 cm
  • T4
  • T4a: Chest wall involvement
  • T4b: Skin involvement
  • T4c: Both 4a and 4b
  • T4d: Inflammatory breast cancer, a clinical circumstance where typical skin changes involve at least a third of the breast.

Regional Lymph Nodes (N)

Lymph Node: The lymph node values depend on the number, size and location of breast cancer cell deposits in various regional lymph nodes, such as the armpit (axillary lymph nodes), the collar area (supraclavicular lymph nodes), and inside the chest (internal mammary lymph nodes.)[3][4] Each stage is as follows:[2]

  • N0: There is some nuance to the official definitions for N0 disease, which includes:
  • N0(i+) : Isolated Tumor Cell clusters (ITC),[1] which are small clusters of cells not greater than 0.2 mm, or single tumor cells, or a cluster of fewer than 200 cells in a single histologic cross-section, whether detected by routine histology or immunohistochemistry;
  • N0(mol-): regional lymph nodes have no metastases histologically, but have positive molecular findings (RT-PCR).
  • N1: Mobile ipsilateral axillary nodes. Lymph node clusters 0.2 - 2.0 mm can be called "micrometastasis". At least one carcinoma focus over 2.0 mm is called "Lymph node metastasis". If one node qualifies as metastasis, count all other nodes even with smaller foci as metastases as well.[1]

Critical numbers of involved nodes: 1-3, 4-9, and 10 and over. Note any extranodal extension.[1]

  • N2: Fixed/matted ipsilateral axillary nodes.
  • N3
  • N3a – Ipsilateral infraclavicular nodes
  • N3b – Ipsilateral internal mammary nodes
  • N3c – Ipsilateral supraclavicular nodes

Distant Metastases (M)

  • M0: No clinical or radiographic evidence of distant metastases
  • M0(i+): Molecularly or microscopically detected tumor cells in circulating blood, bone marrow or non-regional nodal tissue, no larger than 0.2 mm, and without clinical or radiographic evidence or symptoms or signs of metastases, and which, perhaps counter-intuitively, does not change the stage grouping, as staging for in M0(i+) is done according to the T and N values
  • M1: Distant detectable metastases as determined by classic clinical and radiographic means, and/or metastasis that are histologically larger than 0.2 mm.

Overall stage

A combination of T, N and M, as follows:[2]

  • Stage 0: Tis
  • Stage I: T1N0
  • Stage II: T2N0, T3N0 T0N1, T1N1, or T2N1
  • Stage III: Invasion into skin and/or ribs, matted lymph nodes, T3N1, T0N2, T1N2, T2N2, T3N2, AnyT N3, T4 any N, locally advanced breast cancer
  • Stage IV: M1, advanced breast cancer


Main page


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 . Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma of the Breast (Carcinoma of No Special Type). Stanford Medical School. Retrieved on 2019-10-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Originally copied from Fadi M. Alkabban; Troy Ferguson. Cancer, Breast. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Last Update: June 4, 2019. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
  3. "Internal mammary lymphadenopathy in breast carcinoma: CT appraisal of anatomic distribution ". Radiology 167 (1): 89–91. April 1988. doi:10.1148/radiology.167.1.3347753. PMID 3347753. 
  4. "Internal mammary lymphadenopathy: imaging of a vital lymphatic pathway in breast cancer ". Radiographics 10 (5): 857–70. September 1990. doi:10.1148/radiographics.10.5.2217975. PMID 2217975. 

Image sources