How is the primary tumor (T) in breast cancer staged?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Table 4. TNM Classification for Breast Cancer (Open Table in a new window)

Primary tumor (T)

TX

Primary tumor cannot be assessed

T0

No evidence of primary tumor

Tis

Carcinoma in situ

Tis (DCIS)

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Tis (Paget)

Paget disease of the nipple NOT associated with invasive carcinoma and/or carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in the underlying breast parenchyma. Carcinomas in the breast parenchyma associated with Paget disease are categorized on the basis of the size and characteristics of the parenchymal disease, although the presence of Paget disease should still be noted

T1

Tumor ≤ 20 mm in greatest dimension

T1mi

Tumor ≤ 1 mm in greatest dimension

T1a

Tumor > 1 mm but ≤ 5 mm in greatest dimension (round any measurement >1.0-1.9 mm to 2 mm)

T1b

Tumor > 5 mm but ≤ 10 mm in greatest dimension

T1c

Tumor > 10 mm but ≤ 20 mm in greatest dimension

T2

Tumor > 20 mm but ≤ 50 mm in greatest dimension

T3

Tumor > 50 mm in greatest dimension

T4

Tumor of any size with direct extension to the chest wall and/or to the skin (ulceration or skin nodules), not including invasion of dermis alone

T4a

Extension to chest wall, not including only pectoralis muscle adherence/invasion

T4b

Ulceration and/or ipsilateral satellite nodules and/or edema (including peau d’orange) of the skin, which do not meet the criteria for inflammatory carcinoma

T4c

Both T4a and T4b

T4d

Inflammatory carcinoma