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designated cancer center

Cancer of the Oropharynx Staging

A woman discusses oropharyngeal cancer staging with her doctor
A doctor  will conduct tests to determine the
stage of oropharyngeal cancer, which is then
used develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Staging is the process of determining whether cancer has spread and, if so, how far. It is important to know the stage of the disease in order to plan treatment.

What Are the Stages of Oropharyngeal Cancer?

The following stages are used for cancer of the oropharynx.

Stage 0

Cancer is found only in cells lining the oropharynx. Stage 0 cancer is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

The cancer is 2 centimeters (about 3/4 inch) or smaller and has not spread outside the oropharynx.

Stage II

The cancer is larger than 2 centimeters, but not larger than 4 centimeters (about 1-1/2 inches), and has not spread outside the oropharynx.

Stage III

Stage III is either of the following:

Stage IVA

Stage IVA is either of the following:

Stage IVB

Stage IVB is either of the following:

Stage IVC

In stage IVC, cancer has spread to other parts of the body; the tumor may be any size and may have spread to lymph nodes.

Recurrent

Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the oropharynx or in another part of the body.

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