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    Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Nasopharyngeal Cancer

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    Stage I

    In stage I, cancer has formed and the cancer:

    • is found in the nasopharynx only; or
    • has spread from the nasopharynx to the oropharynx and/or to the nasal cavity.

    The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat and includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils.

    cdr0000415526.jpg
    Pea, peanut, walnut, and lime show tumor sizes.

    Stage II

    In stage II nasopharyngeal cancer, the cancer:

    • is found in the nasopharynx only or has spread from the nasopharynx to the oropharynx and/or to the nasal cavity. Cancer has spread to one or more lymph nodes on one side of the neck and/or to lymph nodes behind the pharynx. The affected lymph nodes are 6 centimeters or smaller; or
    • is found in the parapharyngeal space. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes on one side of the neck and/or to lymph nodes behind the pharynx. The affected lymph nodes are 6 centimeters or smaller.

    The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat and includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils. The parapharyngeal space is a fat-filled, triangular area near the pharynx, between the base of the skull and the lower jaw.

    Stage III

    In stage III nasopharyngeal cancer, the cancer:

    • is found in the nasopharynx only or has spread from the nasopharynx to the oropharynx and/or to the nasal cavity. Cancer has spread to one or more lymph nodes on both sides of the neck. The affected lymph nodes are 6 centimeters or smaller; or
    • is found in the parapharyngeal space. Cancer has spread to one or more lymph nodes on both sides of the neck. The affected lymph nodes are 6 centimeters or smaller; or
    • has spread to nearby bones or sinuses. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck and/or to lymph nodes behind the pharynx. The affected lymph nodes are 6 centimeters or smaller.

    The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat and includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils. The parapharyngeal space is a fat-filled, triangular area near the pharynx, between the base of the skull and the lower jaw.

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