NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 21

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 2: Dealing with the diagnosis
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Regional cancer
has spread to nearby lymph nodes
or organs.
Distant cancer
has metastasized to distant parts of
the body.
means that not enough information is
available to determine the cancer’s stage.
Tumors may also be described as stage 0 through IV:
Stage 0
is a very early form of cancer that has not
yet invaded other areas.
Stage I
indicates increasingly extensive disease,
including larger tumor size and greater spread of
cancer to nearby organs or lymph nodes.
Stage IV
indicates that the cancer has spread to
distant organs.
Some cancers are staged using the TNM system,
which is based on the extent of the primary tumor (T),
whether or not cancer was found in nearby/regional
lymph nodes (N), and whether distant metastases are
present (M). (Table 2)
Table 2. The TNM staging system
Primary Tumor (T)
Regional Lymph Nodes (N)
Distant Metastases (M)
TX: unable to evaluate
NX: unable to evaluate
MX: unable to evaluate
T0: no evidence of primary tumor
N0: no cancer found in lymph nodes M0: no distant metastases found
T1-T4: size of primary tumor
N1-N3: cancer in lymph nodes
M1: distant metastases found
Each type of cancer has a slightly different staging system, so the letters and numbers may mean something different for a
person with ovarian cancer than they do for someone with lymphoma.
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