Depth of Invasion Tumor Thickness

Depth of invasion refers to the maximum distance between the basement membrane of adjacent non-invasive epithelium to the deepest point of tumor invasion. It is the preferred method for smaller non-exophytic tumors. Tumor thickness is measured from the non-necrotic non-keratinized tumor surface to its deepest point of infiltration. Depth and thickness are measured in millimeters and are of equal equivalence, except for verruciform tumors. Given their exophytic pattern of growth, thickness should be preferred for these tumors. Notwithstanding this, their utility as a prognostic factor has been demonstrated.55,133,141,149 Tumors measuring less than 5 mm thick are at low risk for metastasis while in tumors of more than 10 mm thick this risk increases considerably.55 In tumors measuring 5-10 mm histological grade and perineural invasion should be considered.55

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