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    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    TNM Staging for Breast Cancer

    Stages breast cancer based on tumor, lymph node, and metastasis characteristics.


    This calculator is based on the 7th edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. An update based on the 8th edition is currently in progress.

    When to Use
    Why Use

    Patients with breast cancer who have had biopsy.

    • The tumor node metastasis (TNM) system stages breast cancer; stage then prognosticates outcome of patients.
    • The staging system is frequently updated in response to new technologies and treatments.

    The TNM system is the standard staging system used by oncologists to both prognosticate and communicate clearly about patients.

    Cannot be assessed
    No evidence of primary tumor
    Carcinoma in situ OR Paget's disease
    Invasive tumor
    Cannot be assessed
    No regional lymph node mets
    Regional lymph node mets
    No clinical or radiographic evidence of distant metastasis
    No clinical or radiographic evidence of distant mets, but tumor cells in blood, bone marrow, or other nonregional nodal tissue no larger than 0.2 mm
    Clinical and radiographic evidence of mets or histologically proven >0.2 mm


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    Next Steps
    Creator Insights


    Use the TNM system once breast cancer diagnosis is biopsy confirmed.


    Staging based on multiple factors including:

    • Primary Tumor (T) characteristics
    • Regional lymph nodes (N)
      • Clinical
      • Pathological
    • Distant metastasis (M)

    Facts & Figures

    Staging Information

    Stage T N M
    0 Tis N0 M0
    IA T1 N0 M0
    IB T0 N1mi M0
    T1 N1mi M0
    IIA T0 N1 M0
    T1 N1 M0
    T2 N0 M0
    IIB T2 N1 M0
    T3 N0 M0
    IIIA T0 N2 M0
    T1 N2 M0
    T2 N2 M0
    T3 N1 M0
    T3 N2 M0
    IIIB T4 N0 M0
    T4 N1 M0
    T4 N2 M0
    IIIC Any T N3 M0
    IV Any T Any N M1
    Dr. Richard Theriault

    About the Creator

    Richard Theriault, DO, is a professor in the breast medical oncology and critical care departments at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also is a trainer for the Tokyo-based Japanese TeamOncology Leadership Academy and J-HOPE Clinical Research Skill Advancement Workshop. Dr. Theriault has led multiple breast cancer research efforts and published over 180 peer reviewed articles, numerous book chapters and teaching publications.

    To view Dr. Richard Theriault's publications, visit PubMed