Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer TNM Staging (Pathological)

pTNM Staging | AJCC 2017


The TNM staging system anatomically classifies malignancies based on the extent of the primary tumour, regional lymph node involvement, and distant metastases. Staging helps physicians decide eligibility for clinical trials, define a patient's prognosis, and determine best treatment options.

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) publishes the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual every 6-8 years. This tool is based on the 8th edition (2017) which represents the most up to date TNM staging guide.


American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

AJCC Cancer Staging Manual.

8th edition. New York: Springer; 2017.

Created by on 09/02/2016

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1. Primary Tumour (T)

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*DOI - depth of invasion, not tumour thickness

NOTE: Superficial erosion of bone/tooth socket (alone) by a gingival primary is not sufficient to classify a tumour as T4

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