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Staging of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity

Staging of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma uses the TNM staging system.

Primary tumour staging (T)
  • Tx - tumour cannot be assessed
  • T0 - no evidence of primary tumour
  • Tis - carcinoma in situ
  • T1 - tumour 2 cm or less in greatest dimension
  • T2 - tumour greater than 2 cm and less than 4 cm in greatest dimension
  • T3 - tumour greater than 4 cm in greatest dimension
  • T4 - tumour invades adjacent structures (mandible, maxilla, skin, extrinsic muscles of the tongue)
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)
  • M0 - no metastases
  • M1 - distant metastases present

See also

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