Hypopharyngeal Cancer Stages
Staging is the process of determining whether cancer has spread and, if so, how far. This information helps doctors understand your prognosis (probable outcome based on others' experiences) and develop your treatment plan.
To determine a cancer's stage, doctors consider many variables, including:
- The main tumor's size and how far it has grown into the hypopharynx and nearby structures
- Whether cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, and if so, which ones
- Whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body or distant organs
In general, the lower the stage number, the less cancer has spread. Hypopharyngeal cancer staging involves many factors and can be complicated, so talk with your doctor for details about your situation.
Stage 0: Abnormal cells are in the hypopharynx lining. They could become cancerous and spread into nearby tissue. Another name for Stage 0 is carcinoma in situ, which means "in its original place."
Stage 1: A cancerous tumor is in only one area of the hypopharynx and is no larger than 2 cm. Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body.
Stage 2: The tumor has extended into more areas of the hypopharynx or nearby areas and is between 2 cm and 4 cm. Cancer is not in the vocal cords, lymph nodes or distant body parts.
Stage 3: The tumor may be larger than 4 cm or affect one or both vocal cords. Or cancer may have spread to nearby tissues or one lymph node but not to distant parts of the body.
Stage 4: This stage is divided into several substages, each describing how hypopharyngeal cancer has extended elsewhere in the body.
Recurrent hypopharyngeal cancer
Recurrent hypopharyngeal cancer is cancer that has come back after being treated. Cancer may appear in the hypopharynx or other areas of the body.