Thyroid cancer

A place for people affected by thyroid cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

My diagnosis?

Posted by

I have just received my diagnosis through the post, which I’m glad to get as when in the clinic it all seems like a blur.

I have a reasonable understanding of what it is but some parts i just don’t understand, could anyone please shed some light on it please?

Diagnosis: Encapsulated classical papillary carcinoma of thyroid, 45mm, completely excised. Stage pT3, pNx, R0.

I understand the Size and the T3 part.. but what does the pNx and R0 mean?

I have my pre op for the rest of my thyroid to be removed on December 9th.

Thank you


Tired since 2011
Posted by

Also I'm only 33 so I thought I was only able to get stage 1 or 2?

Tired since 2011
Posted by

Hi Gaynor 

It's been a while since I looked at staging, but the T3 bit is just in reference to the size of the tumour and as yours was 45mm that puts it into the T3 section. You would only ever be stage 2 if your cancer had spread outside of the neck area, for example to your lungs at your age. 

This link to the staging page here on Mac Millan will help put your mind at rest, it's a really good explanation of each stage in reference to age.

Hope that helps and all the best for getting the rest out, lots of selection boxes for you.

Lolabean :) 

Posted by

Hi Gaynor,

I see you already have an answer to some of your question, but let me answer the rest:

R0 - this is margin. Ie it means that the cancer was removed and when checked by pathology they found a clear (non-cancerous) margin on the tissue that was removed. This is a good thing - it means it was all removed.

pNx - N is nodal spread/metastatis ie has the cancer spread into your lymph nodes. The p means pathology and the X means unassesed - in other words the spread of the cancer into the lymph nodes has not been pathologically (in a lab) tested, so is at this stage unknown.

Normally doctors will check for spread to the lymph nodes firstly “clinically” - by feeling for swollen lymph nodes, radiologically - using various scans like ultrasound or MRI, and pathologically - by taking out some lymph nodes / doing a biopsy and testing them in a lab.

pNx means that at this stage your lymph nodes have not been pathologically tested. You should discuss with your doctor whether they have any suspicion of lymph node spread based on clinical and radiological results, and if they intend to check lymph nodes pathologically as part of your surgery.

Best of luck!