Review: Staging Systems

Here is what we have learned from Staging Systems:

  • There are two staging classifications developed by SEER: extent of disease and summary stage. Extent of disease (EOD) coding is required for all SEER programs funded through the National Cancer Institute.
  • Summary staging is the most basic staging system and it is based on the theory of cancer growth, which uses all information available in the medical record, clinical, and pathological.
  • The EOD coding scheme consists of a ten-digit code. It incorporates three digits for the size and/or involvement of the primary tumor, two for the extension of the tumor, and one more as a general code for lymph node involvement. Four more digits are used after these six: two for the number of pathologically positive regional lymph nodes and two more for the number of regional lymph nodes that are pathologically examined.
  • The AJCC staging scheme is based on the evaluation of the T, N, and M components and the assignment of a stage grouping.
  • FIGO is a gynecologic staging scheme based on clinical staging and careful clinical examination before any definitive therapy has begun.
  • Duke's staging (generic term) is a pathological staging based on resection of the tumor and measures the depth of invasion through the mucosa and bowel wall, and it is used for colon and rectum.
  • Two classification schemes are often used for melanoma: Breslow's microstaging and Clark's Level of Invasion.


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