Oral cancer does not happen only for those with a sweet tooth or those who smoke. When faced with this difficult challenge in life, a lot of people who are not knowledgeable about its types and stages will just give up and succumb to their condition. So let us help you understand and know the different oral cavity cancer staging to help you cope and determine the best treatment so you can face cancer head-on. You can also visit No Gaps clinics in Sydney for more information and treatment for oral cancer.
Parts of the oral cavity cancer staging
There are three factors in determining the oral cancer stage or any type of cancer for that matter. The acronym T (Tumor), N (Nodes), and M (Metastasis) are used. T describes the size and consistency of the tumor, N describes if the lymph nodes on the neck are affected which may indicate a spread of the disease, and M is the status of cancer if it already spread on other parts of the body outside the affected part.
Types of staging
Clinical staging. This is the baseline cancer staging before any treatment has been made or given. This determination uses the imaging, laboratory tests, physical exam, and biopsy done to you.
Pathologic staging. This is the actual staging of your oral cancer because this is determined using the tumor that has been surgically removed from your head or neck. Remember that this determination may or may not be different from your clinical staging, but this is more accurate. So if they are similar, the pathologic staging confirms your cancer stage, but if they are different, then doctors rely on the pathologic staging since the analysis is based on the actual tumor.
The staging of oral cancer or any cancer of the body is essential to determine the type of treatment that you need to fight it. Knowing your clinical and pathologic staging is the best way for your oncologist to plan for the future. But because oral cavity cancer staging is very complicated, it is best for your oncologist to explain it to you in a simplified but accurate manner so you can easily understand your health status.