Pathology dictionary

TNM

What does TNM mean?

TNM stands for Tumour, Nodes, and Metastasis. It is an internationally recognized staging system originally created by the American Joint Committee on Cancer. The stage will be included in your pathology report if you have been diagnosed with cancer.

The TNM uses information about the tumour (T), lymph nodes, (N), and metastatic disease (M) to provide an overall cancer stage. A “p” in front of the TNM means that the information was provided by your pathologist after examining your tissue sample under the microscope.

The TNM staging system provides important information about how the disease with behave over time. Doctors describe this as prognosis. Your doctors will combine the information in your pathology report with other medical information to determine your overall stage and plan your care.

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