Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will determine the stage of the cancer. In general, your physician will stage the tumor based on its size and degree of the cancer cells to spread within your body. Staging is very important because it helps determine an appropriate and effective treatment to fight the cancer.
The stage of laryngeal cancer is often identified by Roman numerals: I, II, III and IV; the higher the stage, the lower your chances to survive.
- Carcinoma in situ stage – the genesis of the cancer in the cells lining the inside of the larynx. Your surgeon may remove the tumor without causing physiological damage.
- Stage I – the tumor has invaded the tissue of the larynx, but it has not spread to other tissue.
- Stage II – at stage 2, laryngeal cancer has spread to surrounding tissue of the larynx.
- Stage III – the cancer has spread beyond the surrounding tissues of the larynx to nearby reach lymph nodes.
- Stage IV – is this final stage, the tumor has not only invaded the nearby lymph nodes but also distant sites in the body such as the lungs.