Aside from tumour grading, tumour staging is one of the most important aspects of cancer diagnosis for one reason. Without it, you cannot determine the level and type of treatment you should give to the patient.
Tumour staging depends on 2 things.
- How big the tumour is.
- How far it has spread.
While there are different systems to stage tumours which can be dependant on the country and the tumour itself, the most commonly used system is called the TNM system. How is works is by measuring 3 things.
- (T)umour – The tumour size. Rated from T0 to T3
- (N)odes – Whether the tumour cells have spread to the nearest lymph node. Rated from N0 to N4.
- (M)etastasis – How invasive is it and how many secondary tumours has it seeded. Rated from M0 to MX where is the number secondary tumours in the body
Here we have a picture of a TNM staging system and how it works.
So really, a T1N0M0 stage cancer is relatively good compared to a T3N4MX. Given the stage of the cancer and its grade. You can then plan the kind of treatment regime, that is if it’s still possible to save the patient.
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