TNM system for vulvar cancer
Vulvar cancer staging describes how large a cancer is, and the degree to which the disease has spread. The staging guidelines developed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) system are used to stage vulvar cancers. This common system allows doctors to communicate important information about the cancer with each other in a standardized way. Vulvar cancer stages are based on three categories:
- T – Describes the primary tumor size.
- N – Indicates whether the vulvar cancer cells have spread to regional lymph nodes.
- M – Refers to whether the cancer has metastasized (spread to distant areas of the body).
Once the individual T, N and M components are scored, they are combined to determine the overall stage group.