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14

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Stomach Cancer, Version 1.2016

2

Cancer staging

TNM scores

N = Node

Lymph drains from stomach tissue into vessels that

transport lymph to the bloodstream. As lymph travels,

it passes through small structures called lymph

nodes. Lymph nodes remove germs from lymph. As

shown in

Figure 5

, lymph nodes and vessels are

found throughout the body. The N category reflects

the number of lymph nodes with stomach cancer.

NX

means that the lymph nodes can’t be

assessed.

N0

means that there is no cancer within

nearby lymph nodes.

N1

means 1 or 2 nearby nodes have cancer.

N2

means 3 to 6 nearby nodes have cancer.

N3a

means 7 to 15 nearby lymph nodes have

cancer.

N3b

means 16 or more nearby lymph nodes

have cancer.

M = Metastasis

The M category tells you if there are metastases to

sites not in direct contact with the stomach. Such sites

include distant lymph nodes.

M0

means that there is no growth to distant

sites.

M1

means that the cancer has spread to

distant sites.

Figure 5.

Lymph nodes near the

stomach

Throughout your body is a network

of vessels that transport lymph to

the bloodstream. Lymph is a clear

fluid that contains germ-fighting

blood cells. As lymph travels in

vessels, it passes through lymph

nodes, which remove germs

from lymph. Stomach cancer first

spreads to lymph nodes next to the

stomach and then beyond.

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