Tumor Size and Staging
A pathologist measures the size of the tumor removed during surgery. The longest length of the tumor in the tissue removed during surgery is reported as the tumor size. Tumor size may be measured under a microscope, especially for small tumors.
Tumor size is strongly related to prognosis (chances for survival). In general, the smaller the tumor, the better the prognosis tends to be .
Tumor size is part of breast cancer staging. 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 (T0).
A diagnosis of carcinoma in situ is classified 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 (DCIS)
Tis (Paget): Paget disease of the breast (Paget disease of the nipple) with no DCIS 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 isn’t inflammatory breast cancer
T4c: Tumor has spread to both the chest wall and skin
|Adapted from American Joint Commission on Cancer materials .|