I was diagnosed at stage IV and given a 15 percent chance of surviving five years. My oral cancer spread beyond my lymph nodes. Cancer was found floating in the lymphatic tissues. Now, I take the ‘stage’ to share my story!
• Stage I. The cancer is no more than 2 centimeters and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area
• Stage II. The cancer is more than 2 centimeters but less than 4 centimeters and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area
• Stage III. Either of the following may be true – the cancer is more than 4 centimeters; the cancer is any size but has spread to only one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer.
• Stage IV. Any of the following may be true – the cancer has spread to tissues around the lip or oral cavity; the lymph nodes in the area may or may not contain cancer; the cancer is any size and has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that measures more than 6 centimeters.