This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma staging

Staging of hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is performed using the TNM staging system.

TNM staging

Primary tumour staging (T)
  • T1:
    • limited to 1 subsite AND
    • tumour size ≤ 2 cm in greatest dimension
  • T2:
    • extends into adjacent subsite or area (larynx, oropharynx) and/or
    • tumour size between 2-4 cm in greatest dimension
    • clinically there must not be fixation of the hemilarynx
  • T3:
    • tumour size > 4 cm in greatest dimension OR
    • clinical fixation of hemilarynx
  • T4:
    • T4a: direct invasion of one or more of the following: 
      • thyroid cartilage / cricoid cartilage
      • hyoid bone
      • thyroid gland
      • oesophagus
      • central compartment
    • T4b: direct invasion of one or more of the following:
      • mediastinal structures
      • prevertebral fascia
      • encases carotid artery
Nodal status (N)

Nodal staging is the same for SCCs of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx

  • Nx: nodes cannot be assessed
  • N0: no regional nodal metastases
  • N1: single ipsilateral node, ≤ 3cm
  • N2:
    • N2a: single ipsilateral node, 3-6 cm
    • N2b: multiple ipsilateral nodes, < 6 cm
    • N2c:
      • bilateral nodal metastases OR
      • contralateral nodal metastases < 6 cm
  • N3: any nodal metastasis > 6 cm
Metastases (M)
  • Mx: presence of metastases cannot be assessed
  • M0: no evidence of metastases
  • M1: distant metastases present

See also

Updating… Please wait.


Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.