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The tumour–node–metastasis staging system has a dynamic structure that is continuously being updated as scientific data develops. This review discusses some suggested revisions on tumour–node–metastasis staging of human papillomavirus negative upper aerodigestive tract cancers.
The seventh edition of The American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging Manual was reviewed and important issues that could be considered for revision were identified and discussed.
According to our assessment of the oncological outcomes of previous studies, the following factors should be considered for revision: anterior commissure involvement and subglottic extension in laryngeal cancers; underlying bone involvement in hard palate and upper alveolar ridge cancers; tumour thickness in oral cancers; and extracapsular spread and carotid artery involvement in neck metastases.
Sufficient data on the prognostic importance of these issues have been reported. Suggested revisions in line with current knowledge on the clinical behaviour of upper aerodigestive tract cancers would improve the relevancy of staging.
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