Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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Head and neck cancer stages

Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. The stage of head and neck cancer is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options.

Our cancer doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests to evaluate head and neck cancer and develop an individualized treatment plan. If you have been recently diagnosed, we will review your pathology to confirm you have received the correct diagnosis and staging information, and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have a recurrence, we will perform comprehensive testing and identify a treatment approach that is suited to your needs.

Cancer staging is the process used to determine how much a cancer has spread.

Head and neck cancer stages are based on the results of physical exams, endoscopies, biopsies and any imaging tests (CT scan, MRI, chest X-ray and/or PET scans).

Stage III head and neck cancer

A stage III head and neck tumor means one of the following:

  • The head and neck tumor is larger than 4 cm across, and no cancer cells are present in nearby structures, lymph nodes, or distant sites (Example: T3, N0, M0).
  • The head and neck tumor is any size but has not grown into nearby structures or distant sites. However, cancer cells are present in one lymph node, which is located on the same side of the head or neck as the primary tumor and is smaller than 3 cm across (Example: T1–3, N1, M0).

We're here to guide you through the cancer journey

We understand you may be feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your type of cancer and what it all means. We're here to help guide you through the process.

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accurate cancer diagnosis

Our team of cancer experts uses advanced, minimally invasive diagnostic technology to detect cancerous cells anywhere in the body.