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Table 2. Regional Lymph Nodes (N)a,b

NXRegional lymph nodes cannot be assessed.
N0No regional lymph node metastasis.
N1Metastases in 1–3 regional lymph nodes.
N1aMetastasis in 1 regional lymph node.
N1bMetastases in 2–3 regional lymph nodes.
N1cTumor deposit(s) in the subserosa, mesentery, or nonperitonealized pericolic or perirectal tissues without regional nodal metastases.
N2Metastases in ≥4 regional lymph nodes.
N2aMetastases in 4–6 regional lymph nodes.
N2bMetastases in ≥7 regional lymph nodes.

aReprinted with permission from AJCC: Colon and rectum. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 143-164.
bA satellite peritumoral nodule in the pericolorectal adipose tissue of a primary carcinoma without histologic evidence of residual lymph node in the nodule may represent discontinuous spread, venous invasion with extravascular spread (V1/2), or a totally replaced lymph node (N1/2). Replaced nodes should be counted separately as positive nodes in the N category, whereas discontinuous spread or venous invasion should be classified and counted in the site-specific factor category Tumor Deposits.