Stages

If orophyaryngeal cancer is diagnosed, the doctor needs to know the stage, or extent, of the disease to plan the best treatment. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body.


Stages of Oropharyngeal Cancer

These are the main features of each stage of the disease:

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ) - In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the lining of the oropharynx. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I - In stage I cancer has formed and is two centimeters or smaller. It is also only found in the oropharynx.

Stage II - In Stage II, the cancer is larger than two centimeters but not larger than four centimeters and is found in the oropharynx only.

Stage III - In stage III, cancer is either four centimeters or smaller; spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor and the lymph node is three centimeters or smaller; or it is larger than four centimeters or has spread to the epiglottis (the flap that covers the trachea during swallowing). Cancer may have spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor and the lymph node is three centimeters or smaller.

Stage IV - Stage IV is divided into stage IVA, IVB and IVC as follows:

In stage IVA - Cancer has spread to the larynx, front part of the roof of the mouth, lower jaw, or muscles that move the tongue or are used for chewing. Cancer may have spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor and the lymph node is three centimeters or smaller. OR, cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor - the lymph node is larger than three centimeters but not larger than six centimeters - or to more than one lymph node anywhere in the neck. One of the following must also be true:

A tumor in the oropharynx is any size and may have spread to the epiglottis.

A tumor has spread to the larynx, front part of the roof of the mouth, lower jaw, or muscles that move the tongue or are used for chewing.

In stage IVB - The tumor surrounds the carotoid artery or has spread to the muscle that opens the jaw, the bone attached to the muscles that move the jaw, nasopharynx or base of the skull. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes (which can be any size) or may be any size and has spread to one or more lymph nodes that are larger than six centimeters.

In Stage IVC - The tumor may be any size and has spread beyond the oropharynx to other parts of the body.

Knowing the stage assists the doctor in determining a prognosis. It also better helps you understand the care and treatment that will be required.

Social Media

Follow us on:

Free Materials

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Materials

Internet Radio Show

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Internet Radio Show

News

Our Initiatives

Mini Meals