X-rays, scans, and endoscopic procedures are useful for staging purposes. Radiological reports should define the location of the cancer, the size of the tumor, involvement of adjacent structures, or existence of distant site (s) of cancer. They can help determine the resectability of the tumor. All radiologic reports should be reviewed to determine the extent of disease.

SEER has a list of terms that can be interpreted as evidence of tumor involvement; however, these are to be used as a last resort. All other sources, including physician's notes should be reviewed before using the "ambiguous terminology" list

  • adherent
  • apparent
  • compatible with
  • consistent with
  • encroaching upon
  • fixation/fixed
  • induration
  • into
  • onto
  • probable
  • suspect/suspicious

Terms not to be interpreted as tumor involvement

  • approaching
  • equivocal
  • possible
  • questionable
  • suggests
  • very close to

Updated: March 4, 2024