Stages of Desmoid tumor

Executive Summary

The staging system of desmoid tumors helps determine the tumor’s location and its metastasis. The staging system of desmoid tumor uses diagnostic tests. A TNM staging system is used to identify the different stages of desmoid tumor. Desmoid tumor is classified as stage 0 to stage IV as the doctors determine the best treatment plan suiting the patient’s condition. But, there is no standard staging system available for desmoid tumor as the disease condition is rare and benign. Hence, the healthcare team evaluates the tumor size, location, symptoms, and complications occurring due to the tumor and several other factors.

Stages of Desmoid Tumor

Staging is a way of describing a disease condition in terms of its gravity and location. If a person is diagnosed with a tumor, the doctor will use various diagnostic tests to determine the desmoid tumor stages. Knowing the stages of desmoid tumor will help the healthcare team to understand how advanced the disease condition is and what treatment plan can be employed to treat the condition ​1​. Staging can be vital in determining a patient’s survival rate once being diagnosed with the disease condition.

In the case of tumors or cancerous growth, doctors usually use a TNM staging system. In the TNM staging system, T stands for tumor, N stands for nodes, and M stands for metastasis.

T (tumor): The staging system will look for the size of the desmoid tumor, how big it is and its location of origin. 

N (Node): In terms of node, it checks whether the desmoid tumor has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or not. If so, where and how many have been affected?

Metastasis (M): whether the cancerous growth has metastasized or spread to different parts of the body. If so, which all body parts have been affected and to what extent? 

These results are combined to determine a person’s cancer or desmoid tumor stages. Usually, a cancer condition has five stages: Stage 0 (zero), Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. This is a common way of describing almost all types of cancers or tumors growths. Based on these stages from 0 to 4, doctors determine the best treatment plan suiting a person’s condition ​2​

But for desmoid tumor, there is no standard staging system available. And the doctors and healthcare team design and execute a treatment plan specific to an individual’s tumor condition. The healthcare team will evaluate the tumor size, its location, the symptoms and complications occurring due to the tumor and several other factors.


  1. 1.
    Church J, Lynch C, Neary P, LaGuardia L, Elayi E. A Desmoid Tumor-Staging System Separates Patients with Intra-Abdominal, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis-Associated Desmoid Disease by Behavior and Prognosis. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. Published online June 2008:897-901. doi:10.1007/s10350-008-9232-5
  2. 2.
    Nakanishi K, Shida D, Tsukamoto S, et al. Multiple rapidly growing desmoid tumors that were difficult to distinguish from recurrence of rectal cancer. World J Surg Onc. Published online October 3, 2017. doi:10.1186/s12957-017-1248-7