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Knowing the stage and grade of your cancer is very important. Your doctors can decide what treatment will be best for you with this information
The stage of a cancer describes its size and whether it has spread beyond its original site. Knowing the extent of the cancer and its grade helps the doctors decide on the most appropriate treatment. The most commonly used staging system for cancer of the larynx is the TNM staging system. TNM stands for tumour, node and metastases:
Different TNM systems are used for each part of the larynx|. Your doctor or specialist nurse can give you more details about the TNM stage of your cancer. If you want more information, you could call our cancer support specialists|.
In this section, we use the term early stage cancer for small tumours that are contained within the larynx.
When we use the term locally advanced cancer, we mean tumours that have spread from the lining of the larynx into its covering (cartilage) or into nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
When we use the term advanced cancer, we mean tumours that have spread more widely to the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes or to another part of the body.
The grade of a cancer gives an idea of how quickly it may develop. To find the grade of your cancer, your doctors will look at a sample of the cancer cells under a microscope.
There are three grades of laryngeal cancer:
The stage and grade of a cancer can help doctors to predict how that cancer might behave, how it might respond to treatment, and what the chance of cure might be.
Content last reviewed: 1 April 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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