Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (staging)

A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

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

Share article

Article information

rID: 2002
Section: Staging
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • SCC staging - Oral cavity
  • Oral cavity SCC staging

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

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

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.