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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Diagnosis > Tumor Size and Staging

  


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

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Staging of Breast Cancer