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Stages of Oral Cancer


Posted on 12/19/2022 by Pacific Oral and Facial Surgery Center
Stages of Oral CancerUnderstanding the stage of cancer helps determine the extent to which the cancer has spread and the size of the tumor. Classifying cancer helps your doctor know the best treatment for you and evaluate the chances of a cure. There are various primary staging systems for your oral cancer according to the TNM system and they include:

Stage 0


Your doctor can classify cancer as stage 0 if the cancer is only restricted to the epithelium. In this stage, the tumor is only in the outer tissues of the oral cavity and has not spread to the deeper tissues or other sites. The cancer is in situ and can be cured through surgical removal of the tumor.

Stage 1


In stage 1, the tumor is 2 cm or less in size and has not spread to other areas. Cancer has not spread to other nearby cells such as the lymph nodes. The prognosis of this cancer is good and can be cured through surgery.

Stage 2


In stage 2, the tumor measures 2-4 cm but has not affected other nearby sites. The chances of the cancer being cured are pretty high.

Stage 3


The tumor is more than 4 cm in size but has not yet affected other nearby sites, such as the lymph nodes. It can also be classified as a tumor of any size that affects one lymph node. The cancer is still restricted to the other oral cavity and has not metastasized to other areas.

Stage 4


The cancer cells have affected nearby parts, such as the lymph nodes, and have spread to some parts of your body. The process of spreading to other areas of your body is known as distant metastasis. In most cases, the cancer cells can affect areas such as the liver, lungs, or bones. The prognosis of stage 4 cancer is poor and is managed with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or surgery.
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