Nasopharyngeal carcinoma diagnostic study of choice

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Homa Najafi, M.D.[2]

Overview

The staging of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is based on the TNM staging system.

Staging

American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging

The table below summarizes the TNM staging system for the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma:[1]

TNM Description
TX The primary tumor cannot be assessed
T0 No evidence of primary tumor, but EBV-positive cervical node(s) involvement
Tis Carcinoma in situ
T1 Tumor confined to nasopharynx, or extension to oropharynx and/or nasal cavity without paraphartheyngeal involvement
T2 Tumor with extension to parapharyngeal space and/or infiltration of the medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, and/or prevertebral muscles
T3 Tumor invades bony structures of skull base cervical vertebra, pterygoid structures, and/or paranasal sinuses
T4 Tumor with intracranial extension and/or involvement of cranial nerves, hypopharynx, orbit, parotid gland and/or infiltration beyond the lateral surface of the lateral pterygoid muscle
Regional Lymph Nodes
NX Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed
N0 No regional lymph nodes involved
N1 Unilateral metastasis, in cervical lymph node(s), and/or unilateral, or bilateral metastasis in retropharyngeal lymph nodes, 6 cm or less, above the caudal border of Cricoid cartilage
N2 Bilateral metastasis in cervical lymph node(s), 6 cm or less above the caudal border of Cricoid cartilage
N3 Metastasis in cervical lymph node(s) greater than 6 cm in dimension and/or extension below the caudal border of Cricoid cartilage
Distant Metastasis
M0 No distant metastasis
M1 Distant metastasis is present
Stage grouping
Stage T N M
0 Tis N0 M0
I T1 N0 M0
II T1 N0,N1 M0
T2 N0,N1 M0
III T0, T1, T2 N2 M0
T3 N0, N1, N2 M0
IVA T4 N0, N1, N2 M0
Any T N3 M0
IVB Any T Any N M1

References

  1. Amin, Mahul (2017). AJCC cancer staging manual. Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3319406176.

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