TNM system for vulvar cancer
Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. The stage of vulvar cancer is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options.
Our cancer doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests to evaluate vulvar cancer and develop an individualized treatment plan. If you have been recently diagnosed, we will review your pathology to confirm you have received the correct diagnosis and staging information, and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have a recurrence, we will perform comprehensive testing and identify a treatment approach that is suited to your needs.
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.