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Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer

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There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:

  • Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
  • Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
  • Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.

When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.

There is no standard staging system for cancer of the sphenoid and frontal sinuses.

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

The following stages are used for maxillary sinus cancer:

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining of the maxillary sinus. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

In stage I, cancer has formed in the mucous membranes of the maxillary sinus.

Stage II

In stage II, cancer has spread to bone around the maxillary sinus, including the roof of the mouth and the nose, but not to bone at the back of the maxillary sinus or the base of the skull.

Stage III

In stage III, cancer has spread to any of the following:

  • Bone at the back of the maxillary sinus.
  • Tissues under the skin.
  • The eye socket.
  • The base of the skull.
  • The ethmoid sinuses.

or

Cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer and the lymph node is 3 centimeters or smaller. Cancer has also spread to any of the following:

  • The lining of the maxillary sinus.
  • Bones around the maxillary sinus, including the roof of the mouth and the nose.
  • Tissues under the skin.
  • The eye socket.
  • The base of the skull.
  • The ethmoid sinuses.

Stage IV

Stage IV is divided into stage IVA, IVB, and IVC.

Stage IVA

In stage IVA, cancer has spread either:

  • to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer and the lymph node is larger than 3 centimeters but not larger than 6 centimeters; or
  • to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the original tumor and the lymph nodes are not larger than 6 centimeters; or
  • to lymph nodes on the opposite side of the neck as the original tumor or on both sides of the neck, and the lymph nodes are not larger than 6 centimeters.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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