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

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Article Information

rID: 9606
Systems: Head & Neck, Oncology
Section: Staging
Tags: scc, cases, oncology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hypopharyngeal SCC staging
  • SCC of the hypopharynx staging
  • Staging of SCC of the hypopharynx
  • Staging of hypopharyngeal SCC

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