According to the TMN system cancers are the size of the tumor (T) after the appearance of “daughter of tumors (metastases) in lymph nodes (N; Latin” nodus = knot and divided the occurrence of metastases in other organs (M) . It derived from each of consequences for individual therapy.

T = size of the tumor
For breast cancer the following classifications are distinguished:

  • T stage
  • Tx: no assessment of possible tumor
  • T0: No evidence of a tumor
  • Tis: non-invasive (not in the surrounding tissue ingrown) tumor
  • T1: tumor in greatest dimension no greater than 2 cm
  • T2: Tumor size 2-5 cm in greatest diameter
  • T3: Tumor larger than 5 cm in greatest dimension
  • T4: tumor extends into neighboring tissues (eg, chest muscles, skin or fins)

N = involvement of lymph nodes:
N stage

  • Nx: lymph nodes can not be assessed
  • N0: Lymph nodes are not affected
  • N1: metastasis in the axillary lymph nodes on the same side as the affected breast, the lymph nodes can move during the examination by the doctor
  • N2: metastasis in the axillary lymph nodes on the same side as the affected breast, the lymph nodes can be moved during the examination by the doctor, since they are fused together or with the surrounding tissue
  • N3: metastasis along the internal thoracic artery on the same side as the affected breast

M = metastases:
M stage:

  • Mx: presence of organ metastases not assessable
  • M0: no organ metastases detected
  • M1: metastases in other organs, there

Grading:
Furthermore, the biological behavior of tumor tissue in the histological examination will be further explored ( “Grading”). This can for example inferences about the rate of growth of the tumor, or a tendency to metastasize. It distinguishes the grading stages G1, G2 and G3.


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