head and neck cancer staging

A group of cancers that can affect any area of the body higher than your shoulders has it’s very own, and complex way of staging. Head and neck cancer staging consist out of three factors. The exact location of the cancer is assessed at first, followed by how extensive it is. The third and final step is to determine just how much it has spread. Do not wait for the final stage to arrive before getting yourself checked. Email or phone a specialist as soon as possible to book an appointment.

The American doctors association has named this head and neck cancer staging staging system, TNM. The letters stand for Tumor, Node, and Metastasis.

Stage 0

The cancer is only present where it has been localized. It did not spread to any other area or node.

Stage I

The cancer is around 2 cm in length, maybe even smaller, and it still hasn’t started spreading itself towards nearby tissue, or appearing at distant sites of the body.

Stage II

Cancer has grown further, perhaps even doubled in size from 2 cm to 4 cm. But it still isn’t spreading to other areas of the body.

Stage III

The tumor has to fulfill one of these two conditions to reach stage III

It has grown beyond the 4 cm and isn’t spreading to any other part of the body.


head and neck cancer staging

The cancer is around 2 cm, but it is also presented in the lymph node closest to the affected area of the neck or head.

Stage IVA

This stage has multiple categories.

The tumor is of average size but it’s spreading around the nearby tissue, nodes aren’t affected, nor is it found in any other distant parts of the body.

The tumor is of an average size and is potentially invading other surrounding parts, but isn’t affecting any distant part of the body, but it is either found in one node, where it is the size of 3 to 6 centimeters, or present in multiple nodes around the neck or head with sizes under 6 centimeters.

Stage IVB

One of these two scenarios has happened:

Cancer as invaded a larger part of the area surrounding the initial location of cancer, but didn’t spread to any distant sites or nodes.

The cancer is potentially also found in other areas of the body, but it is surely inside a node and bigger than 6 centimeters.

Stage IVC

Cancer has spread from the neck to distant parts of the body.