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Cancer Health Center

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Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage Information for Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer

The staging systems are clinical estimates of the extent of disease. The assessment of the tumor is based on inspection, palpation, and direct endoscopy when necessary. The tumor must be confirmed histologically, and any other pathological data obtained on biopsy may be included. The appropriate nodal drainage areas are examined by careful palpation. Computed tomographic and/or magnetic resonance imaging studies are generally required to adequately evaluate tumor extent prior to attempted surgical resection or definitive radiation therapy. If a patient relapses, complete restaging must be done to select the appropriate additional therapy.[1,2]

Definitions of TNM

Staging of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus carcinomas is not as well established as for other head and neck tumors. For cancer of the maxillary sinus, the nasal cavity, and the ethmoid sinus, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has designated staging by TNM classification.[3]

Table 1. Primary Tumor (T)a

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 69-78.
TX Primary tumor cannot be assessed.
T0 No evidence of primary tumor.
Tis Carcinomain situ.
Maxillary Sinus
T1 Tumor limited to maxillary sinus mucosa with no erosion or destruction of bone.
T2 Tumor causing bone erosion or destruction including extension into the hard palate and/or middle nasal meatus, except extension to posterior wall of maxillary sinus and pterygoid plates.
T3 Tumor invades any of the following: bone of the posterior wall of maxillary sinus, subcutaneous tissues, floor or medial wall of orbit, pterygoid fossa, or ethmoid sinuses.
T4a Moderately advanced local disease.
Tumor invades anterior orbital contents, skin of cheek, pterygoid plates, infratemporal fossa, cribriform plate, or sphenoid or frontal sinuses.
T4b Very advanced local disease.
Tumor invades any of the following: orbital apex, dura, brain, middle cranial fossa, cranial nerves other than maxillary division of trigeminal nerve (V2), nasopharynx, or clivus.
Nasal Cavity and Ethmoid Sinus
T1 Tumor restricted to any one subsite, with or without bony invasion.
T2 Tumor invading two subsites in a single region or extending to involve an adjacent region within the nasoethmoidal complex, with or without bony invasion.
T3 Tumor extends to invade the medial wall or floor of the orbit, maxillary sinus, palate, or cribriform plate.
T4a Moderately advanced local disease.
Tumor invades any of the following: anterior orbital contents, skin of nose or cheek, minimal extension to anterior cranial fossa, pterygoid plates, or sphenoid or frontal sinuses.
T4b Very advanced local disease.
Tumor invades any of the following: orbital apex, dura, brain, middle cranial fossa, cranial nerves other than (V2), nasopharynx, or clivus.
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