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Oesophageal cancer staging

Due to the lack of serosal layer oesophageal cancer often tends to have mediastinal spread at the time of diagnosis.

Exact staging can slightly vary depending of if it is squamous cell cancer of adenocarcinoma.

TNM staging

  • T staging
  • N staging
    • Nx: regional nodes cannot be assessed
    • N0: no regional lymph node metastases
    • N1: 1-2  regional nodes involved
    • N2: 3-6 regional nodes involved 
    • N3: >7 regional nodes invloved
  • M staging
    • Mx: metastatic disease cannot be assessed
    • M0: no distant metastases
    • M1: distant metastases

AJCC staging groups

Staging is dependant on histological subtype, e.g. squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma. G refers to the grade of tumour and the location is in brackets. As with the TNM classification, X indicates inability to determine grade or location.

Squamous cell carcinoma
Stage 0
  • Tis N0 M0 G1, X
Stage IA
  • T1 N0 M0 G1, X
Stage IB
  • T1 N0 M0 G2-3
  • T2-3 N0 M0 G1,X (lower, X)
Stage IIA
  • T2-3 N0 M0 G1,X (upper, middle)
  • T2-3 N0 M0 G2-3 (lower, X)
Stage IIB
  • T2-3 N0 M0 G2-3 (upper, middle)
  • T1-2 N1 M0
Stage IIIA
  • T1-2 N2 M0
  • T3 N1 M0
  • T4a N0 M0
Stage IIIB
  • T3 N2 M0
Stage IIIC
  • T4a N1-2 M0
  • T4b N- M0
  • T- N3 M0
Stage IV
  • T- N- M1

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