The current TNM classification of breast carcinomas: Controversial issues in early breast cancer
The TNM is the most widely used staging system for malignant disease. Its seventh edition has been updated in several respects, but there still remain controversial issues requiring further improvement. The current review highlights the items related to early breast cancer. It deals separately with contradictions found in the online resources, those related to the different categories, the stages, grade and finally it places the TNM in the milieu of biological markers often used to tailor individual patient treatment. Although TNM has lost its nearly unique role in assessing patient risk and in selecting systemic therapy for breast cancer, it is still of importance in reflecting the anatomic extent of disease in a categorical way, selecting surgical treatment and comparing similar tumours of different extent.