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AJCC staging system (… STAY-jing SIS-tem)

A system to describe the amount and spread of cancer in a patient’s body, using TNM. T describes
the size of the tumor and any spread of cancer into nearby tissue; N describes spread of cancer to
nearby lymph nodes; and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer to other parts of the body). This
system was created and is updated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the
International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The AJCC staging system is used to describe most types
of cancer. Also called TNM staging system.

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