What Treatment Options are Available for Positive Margins?

These are the recommendations for treatment according to the stage of cancer.

T stage describes the size of the original tumour. A higher T stage corresponds to bigger size.

Positive margins indicate that cancer cells are found in the tissue surrounding the tumour after surgical removal of the tumour.

Lymph nodes are small organs that are part of the lymphatic system, a system in the body that transports a type of fluid called lymph throughout the body. N1 stage refers to spread of cancer to the lymph nodes. N2 refers to spread of cancer to the lymph nodes beyond N1 level.

Stage of cancer

Treatment Options

Stage 1A with presence of tumour after surgical removal of tumour that can be seen under the microscope or with the naked eye

  1. Re-resection, meaning second surgical removal of tumour
  2. Radiotherapy

T stage: T2ab

No spread of cancer to the lymph nodes.

  1. Re-resection with/without chemotherapy
  2. Radiotherapy with/without chemotherapy

Stage 2 positive margin with presence of tumour after surgical removal of tumour that can be seen under the microscope.

  1. Re-resection and chemotherapy
  2. Chemo-radiation

Stage 2 positive margin with presence of tumour after surgical removal of tumour that can be seen with the naked eye.

  1. Re-resection and chemotherapy
  2. Concurrent chemo-radiation

T stage: T1-3

Lymph node involvement: N2

Or

T stage: T3

Lymph node involvement: N1 with presence of tumour after surgical removal of tumour that can be seen under the microscope.

  1. Chemo-radiation

T stage: T1-3

Lymph node involvement: N2

Or

T stage: T3

Lymph node involvement: N1 with presence of tumour after surgical removal of tumour that can be seen with the naked eye.

  1. Concurrent chemo-radiation