"The classification of cancer by anatomic disease extent, i.e. stage, is the major determinant of appropriate treatment and prognosis. Stage is an increasingly important component of cancer surveillance and cancer control and an endpoint for the evaluation of the population-based screening and early detection efforts. The UICC has published the UICC TNM classification of malignant tumours for over 50 years. The UICC TNM classification is the internationally accepted standard for cancer staging. The UICC TNM Classification is an anatomically based system that records the primary and regional nodal extent of the tumor and the absence or presence of metastases. (...) The UICC TNM staging system is the common language in which oncology health professionals can communicate on the cancer extent for individual patients as a basis for decision making on treatment management and individual prognosis but can also be used, to inform and evaluate treatment guidelines, national cancer planning and research. (...) The TNM classification is a unified standard and is a prerequisite for ensuring the quality of care in all resource-settings. It goes beyond clinician practice and constitutes vital information for policy-makers developing or implementing cancer control and prevention plans and it is therefore important to include the TNM classification as part of cancer registration."