How are cancer cells classified

Classification of tumors

Tumors can be classified according to different classification systems. The most common classifications are the UICC stages and the TNM classification:

UICC stages

The Union internationale contre le cancer (UICC) divides tumors into different stages of development

  • Stage 0: Tumors without spreading into the connective tissue below the intestinal mucosa, without lymph node involvement and metastases
  • Stage I: Small and medium-sized tumors (T1, T2) without lymph node involvement and metastases
  • Stage II: Medium to large tumors (T3, T4) without lymph node involvement and metastases
  • Stage III: Tumors of any size with metastases in 1-4 lymph nodes in the area without distant metastases
  • Stage IV: Tumors of any size with metastases in 1-4 lymph nodes in the area with distant metastases

TNM classification

The abbreviation stands for "Tumor - lymph node (English "node" = node) - M.etastases ". This classification indicates the extent and spread of tumors:

Size and extent of the tumor (T1-4):

T0An initial (primary) tumor cannot be detected
T1The primary tumor is smaller than 2 centimeters
T2The primary tumor is 2-5 centimeters in size
T3The primary tumor is larger than 5 centimeters
T4Direct spread tumor of any size
in the neighborhood

Number and location of the affected lymph nodes (Nodes, N0-3):

NxLymph nodes cannot be assessed for cancer
N0No involvement of the neighboring lymph nodes
N1Metastases in armpit lymph nodes
N2Like N1, but still connected to each other or in the vicinity

Absence (M0) or presence of metastases (M1):

MxThe presence or absence of distant metastases cannot be assessed
M0No clinical evidence of daughter tumors
M1Distant metastases detectable