• Above all, we make a difference.
  • Tumor Size and Staging



    Prognostic Factors
    Fact Sheet

    Tumor size is strongly related to prognosis. In general, the smaller the tumor, the higher the chances are for long-term survival [6].

    In the TNM staging system, a "T" followed by a number shows the size of the tumor.

    In some cases, the size of the tumor cannot be determined (TX) or a tumor cannot be found (TO). If the diagnosis is carcinoma in situ, this is written as Tis.

    Tumor size categories 

    TX: Tumor size cannot be assessed

    T0: No tumor can be found

    Tis: Carcinoma in situ


    Subcategories of Tis:


    Tis (DCIS): Ductal carcinoma in situ


    Tis (LCIS): Lobular carcinoma in situ


    Tis (Paget): Paget disease of the breast (Paget disease of the nipple) with no DCIS, LCIS or invasive breast cancer

    T1: Tumor is 2 cm or smaller


    Subcategories of T1:


    T1mi: Very small tumor (0.1 cm or smaller)


    T1a: Tumor is larger than 0.1 cm, but no larger than 0.5 cm


    T1b: Tumor is larger than 0.5 cm, but no larger than 1 cm


    T1c: Tumor is larger than 1 cm, but no larger than 2 cm

    T2: Tumor is larger than 2 cm, but no larger than 5 cm

    T3: Tumor is larger than 5 cm

    T4: Tumor is any size, but has spread beyond the breast tissue to the chest wall and/or skin


    Subcategories of T4:


    T4a: Tumor has spread to the chest wall


    T4b: Tumor has spread to the skin, but is not inflammatory breast cancer


    T4c: Tumor has spread to both the chest wall and skin


    T4d: Inflammatory breast cancer 

    Adapted from National Cancer Institute materials [98].

    Updated 02/05/14


    Staging of Breast Cancer 




1-877 GO KOMEN