Tonsil Cancer Stages
Tonsil carcinoma or cancer comes under the category of oral cancer. This is a cancer which is also called as oropharyngeal cancer as it may affect parts of the head and neck region of the body. Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the most common name given to the cancer which is found in the oral region of the body. This cavity involves organs like mouth, pharynx and larynx. A bunch of cells which does not metastasize into other parts of the body may be non cancerous or could also be some type of an infection. This is a cancer which is very uncommon and does not strike many people. But this does not mean that one should ignore any sort of signs or changes in the body.
Tonsil cancer stages: -
Zero Stage - This is a stage which is also known as carcinoma in situ. In this stage, abnormal cells are found but they have not yet spread into the normal tissue which is present in the lining of the oropharynx.
First Stage - This is a tonsil cancer stage where the cancer has developed in a shape and the mass is almost close to 2 cm or smaller. This is the stage where in the cancer is restricted to the oropharynx. This is the stage where in the doctor says that the cancer should ideally be detected and treated. It is the earliest stage of the spread of the cancer.
Second Stage - This is the stage where the cancer is larger than 2 cm but is lesser than 4 cm in size. Here too the cancer is only present in the oropharynx. This stage is considered early stage of the disease. If the cancer is detected in this stage as well, the treatment is possible via surgery and the recurrence rate of the cancer is also low.
Third Stage - There are two possibilities in this stage:
Fourth Stage A - In this stage, the cancer has spread on to the following organs: -
The cancer may have also spread to one of the lymph node which is present on the same side and the size of the lymph node is 3-6 cm. OR The cancer has spread on to more than one lymph node which is present anywhere in the neck. The size of the tumor is not specific and it has also spread beyond the oropharynx.
Fourth Stage B - This is the tonsil cancer stage; where the size of the mass containing the cancer is of any size. The cancer may have spread on to more than one lymph node which is larger than 6 cm. It also may have spread to the jaws, carotid artery, nasopharynx, the bones and the base of the skull. This is a stage where the cancer is advanced and also is very tough to remove with the help of a surgery.
Fourth Stage C - This is the stage where in the size and spread of the tumor is not defined. This is the final stage of tonsil cancer and in most of the cases the tumor has spread on to various other parts of the body such as lungs, liver or bones. This will come under the case of distant metastasis.
Recurrent Stage - This is the stage wherein the cancer comes back even after the treatment is provided to the patients. Cancer may come back in the same spot, elsewhere in the oropharynx, or in other parts of the body.
Tonsil cancer stages get severe as time passes but it is very difficult to detect this cancer in the early stages. This is a cancer which can get fatal if it is not treated on time. In most of the cases, the person does not lose his life because of tonsil cancer but because of cancer in other regions which has occurred because of tonsil cancer.