NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Colon Cancer - page 22

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Colon Cancer
Version 1.2012
Part 3: Tests of colon cancer
System to define cancer stage
The TNM staging system is most often used to describe
the growth of colon cancer. In this system, each of
the letters—T, N, and M—describes a different area
of growth. For each area, your cancer is scored twice.
The first scores are based on tests before surgery.
The second scores are based on review of the tissues
removed during surgical treatment.
T category.
The T category tells you how far the
primary tumor has grown. For colon cancer, tumors
usually start in the inner wall of the colon and grow
outward (Figure 11). T scores for colon cancer include:
• T
is
tumors have not grown beyond the muscularis
mucosae.
• T1
tumors have grown into the submucosa.
• T2
tumors have grown into the muscularis propria.
• T3
tumors have grown beyond the muscularis propria.
• T4a
tumors have grown into the visceral peritoneum
(Figure 12).
• T4b
tumors have grown next to or into other organs
or structures.
Figure 12.
Peritoneum
Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
Figure 11.
TNM examples
Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
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