Classification of nodal stations in gastric cancer
The lymphatic drainage from the stomach is anatomically elaborate and it is very hard to predict the pattern of lymph node (LN) metastases from gastric cancer (GC). However, there are LN stations metastases that are more frequently observed depending on the tumor location. Furthermore, the incidence of metastasis to various regional LN stations depends on the depth of gastric-wall invasion. The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association (JGCA) classifies the regional LNs draining the stomach into 33 regional lymphatic stations. These are distinguished into three (N1–N3) groups with respect to the location of the primary tumor. The aim of this classification is to provide a common language for the clinical, surgical, and pathological description of GC.