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

Table 3. Regional Lymph Nodes (N) for Non-Eyelid Carcinomaa

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and other cutaneous carcinomas. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 301-14.
NXRegional lymph nodes cannot be assessed.
N0No regional lymph node metastases.
N1Metastasis in a single ipsilateral lymph node, ≤3 cm in greatest dimension.
N2Metastasis in a single ipsilateral lymph node, >3 cm but ≤6 cm in greatest dimension; or in multiple ipsilateral lymph nodes, ≤6 cm in greatest dimension; or in bilateral or contralateral lymph nodes, ≤6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2aMetastasis in a single ipsilateral lymph node, >3 cm but ≤6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2bMetastases in multiple ipsilateral lymph nodes, ≤6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2cMetastases in bilateral or contralateral lymph nodes, ≤6 cm in greatest dimension.
N3Metastasis in a lymph node, >6 cm in greatest dimension.

Table 4. Distant Metastasis (M) for Non-Eyelid Carcinomaa

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and other cutaneous carcinomas. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 301-14.
M0No distant metastases.
M1Distant metastases.

Patients with a primary cutaneous SCC or other cutaneous carcinoma with no evidence (i.e., clinical, radiologic, or pathologic) of regional or distant metastases are divided into the following two stages:

  • Stage I for tumors measuring 2 cm or less in size.
  • Stage II for tumors measuring more than 2 cm in size.

In instances where there is clinical concern about extension of the tumor into bone and radiologic evaluation has been performed (and is negative), these data may be included to support the stage I versus stage II designation. Tumors that are 2 cm or less in size can be upstaged to stage II if they contain two or more high-risk features.

Stage III patients are those with either of the following:

  • Clinical, histologic, or radiologic evidence of one involved lymph node measuring 3 cm or less in size.
  • Tumor extension into bone; namely, the maxilla, mandible, orbit, or temporal bone.

Stage IV patients are those with any of the following:

  • Tumor with direct or perineural invasion of skull base or axial skeleton.
  • Two or more involved lymph nodes.
  • Single or multiple involved lymph nodes measuring more than 3 cm in size.
  • Distant metastases.
1|2|3

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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