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Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Updated: 07/31/2014

Table 1. Primary Tumor (T)a

TXPrimary tumor cannot be assessed.
T0No evidence of primary tumor.
TisCarcinoma in situ.
T1Tumor ≤2 cm in greatest dimension.
T2Tumor >2 cm but ≤4 cm in greatest dimension.
T3Tumor >4 cm in greatest dimension.
T4aModerately advanced local disease.b
(Lip) Tumor invades through cortical bone, inferior alveolar nerve, floor of mouth, or skin of face, that is, chin or nose.
(Oral cavity) Tumor invades adjacent structures only (e.g., through cortical bone [mandible or maxilla] into deep [extrinsic] muscle of tongue [genioglossus, hyoglossus, palatoglossus, and styloglossus], maxillary sinus, or skin of face).
T4bVery advanced local disease.
Tumor invades masticator space, pterygoid plates, or skull base and/or encases internal carotid artery.

aReprinted with permission from AJCC: Lip and oral cavity. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 29-40.
bSuperficial erosion alone of bone/tooth socket by gingival primary is not sufficient to classify a tumor as T4.