Oral Cancer (Mouth Cancer)
is confirmed that you have cancer in your mouth, your oncologist will determine its stage. This may require
surgery, or removal of some lymph nodes near the tumor for laboratory analysis. Staging the tumor is a very
important step; it helps your physician not only to choose appropriate treatment but also to determine the
The stage of an oral cancer
is often defined by Roman numerals: stage I, stage II, stage III and stage IV. Higher is the stage, more
aggressive is the cancer. In general, aggressive cancers have poor prognosis.
- carcinoma in situ– also called stage 0, carcinoma in situ indicates the genesis of cancer
- Stage I
tumor is in your mouth, but it
is no larger than 2 cm;
- Stage II
– the size of the tumor
can be larger than 2 cm
but no larger than 4 cm;
- Stage III
– the t
umor is larger than 4 cm, and can have
spread to nearby tissue;
- Stage IV
tumor has spread into inferior
alveolar nerve, floor of mouth, or skin of the face, chin and/or nose.
- Recurrent – the cancer has returned after treatment.