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Esophageal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage Information for Esophageal Cancer

The stage determines whether the intent of the therapeutic approach will be curative or palliative. The AJCC has designated staging by TNM classification to define cancer of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction.[1]

Definitions of TNM

The AJCC has designated staging by TNM classification to define cancer of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction.[1]

Table 1. Primary Tumor (T)a,b

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Esophageal and esophagogastric junction. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 103-15.
b(1) At least maximal dimension of the tumor must be recorded, and (2) multiple tumors require the T(m) suffix.
c High-grade dysplasia includes all noninvasive neoplastic epithelia that was formerly called carcinomain situ, a diagnosis that is no longer used for columnar mucosae anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
TXPrimary tumor cannot be assessed.
T0No evidence of primary tumor.
TisHigh-grade dysplasia.c
T1Tumor invades lamina propria, muscularis mucosae, or submucosa.
T1aTumor invades lamina propria or muscularis mucosae.
T1bTumor invades submucosa.
T2Tumor invades muscularis propria.
T3Tumor invades adventitia.
T4Tumor invades adjacent structures.
T4aResectable tumor invading pleura, pericardium, or diaphragm.
T4bUnresectable tumor invading other adjacent structures, such as aorta, vertebral body, trachea, etc.

Table 2. Regional Lymph Nodes (N)a,b

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Esophageal and esophagogastric junction. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 103-15.
b Number must be recorded for total number of regional nodes sampled and total number of reported nodes with metastasis.
NXRegional lymph nodes cannot be assessed.
N0No regional lymph node metastasis.
N1Metastases in 1–2 regional lymph nodes.
N2Metastases in 3–6 regional lymph nodes.
N3Metastases in ≥7 regional lymph nodes.

Table 3. Distant Metastasis (M)a

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Esophageal and esophagogastric junction. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 103-15.
M0No distant metastasis.
M1Distant metastasis.
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