• Larynx Cancer Stages

Larynx Cancer Stages

Staging describes cancer depending on how much it has spread in the body and where the oncologist diagnosed it initially. This post will outline the various larynx cancer stages. But first, here's a brief on how it occurs.

Larynx is the area of the throat that contains the vocal cord. Its most important function is to protect the lower respiratory tract from aspirating food in one's trachea while breathing. It gets used for talking, swallowing, and breathing too. It contains vocal cords & functions as the voice box which produces sound.

Laryngeal cancer occurs when there's a change in larynx cells. Early signs of this type of cancer include the following:

  • Change in the voice
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Swelling or lump in the neck
  • Breathlessness or long-lasting cough
  • A persistent sore throat or even earache
  • Difficulty breathing in severe cases
  • A high-pitched wheezing noise while breathing

Welcome to this post, where we will talk about the different laryngeal cancer stages.

There are different stages of larynx cancer. In staging, information from the tests is used to find the following details:

  • The exact tumour size
  • The organ's part where it has been diagnosed
  • Whether it has spread and, if yes, where it has spread

The healthcare professional uses these laryngeal cancer stages to determine the right treatment plan & estimate the patient's prognosis. Before describing the severity, let's first learn what happens in stage 1 larynx cancer.

Stage 2 Larynx Cancer

Cancer forms in the glottis, supraglottis, or even subglottis area of your larynx in the first stage. This phase determines whether cancer has occurred in supraglottis cancer or glottis. If it occurs in the supraglottis, the vocal cords will work normally. But if it's in the glottis, one or even both vocal cords usually work.

Stage 1 cancer occurs only in one part, and vocal cords can move. So, it is a treatable stage. Severity increases right when a patient reaches the next stage. In this stage, cancer forms no longer than two centimetres. Cancer may spread to another part of the organ.

Cancer can be in over one supraglottis area or has spread to the area at the tongue's base. Alternatively, it may be at the tissues near the patient's vocal cords. The cancer spreads to the supraglottis, subglottis, or even both if it occurs in the glottis. Vocal cords won't normally work in this case. Unlike the 3 and 4 laryngeal cancer stages, even stage 2 Larynx cancer is treatable.

Stage 3 Larynx Cancer

Stage 3 Larynx cancer forms in the glottis, supraglottis, or subglottis area

If it occurs in the supraglottis, here's what happens:

Cancer is in the larynx & vocal cords don't work. Cancer may spread through or near the thyroid cartilage's inner part. Cancer might also spread to a lymph node on the neck's same side as a primary tumour.

Cancer may spread to one area of the supraglottis, spreading to a lymph node. Or it may spread over multiple supraglottis areas or to the tongue's base or tissues near the vocal cords. The vocal cords normally work here. Usually, the lymph node size remains 3 cm or less.

When cancer occurs in the glottis, here's what happens:

Cancer may spread in one or both vocal cords. Or it may spread to the subglottis, supraglottis, or both. If it remains in the larynx or spreads to the supraglottis, subglottis, or both, the vocal cords don't work. However, vocal cords remain functional normally when it spreads to one or more vocal cords.

When cancer occurs in the subglottis, here's what happens:

When cancer is in the larynx, vocal cords may not work. Also, vocal cords may not be functional if it spreads to one or more vocal cords.

Stage 4 Larynx Cancer

The fourth larynx staging is classified into the following three sub-stages:

Stage IVA

This sub-stage 4 larynx cancer spreads through the thyroid cartilage or tissues beyond the larynx in this stage. From supraglottis, glottis, or even subglottis, it spreads to other tissues in the trachea, neck, oesophagus, or thyroid.

  • When it spreads to the neck's same side as the primary tumour, the lymph node is small or equal to 3 cm. It may spread via the outside covering.
  • When spread to the neck side, the tumour size is more than 3 cm and less than 6 cm.
  • When spread to the same neck size, the tumour is larger than 6 cm. But it does not spread through the covering.
  • When spread on both neck sides, the size remains less than 6 cm.

Stage IVB

From the supraglottis, it spreads to the glottis or subglottis and finally to the carotid artery's surrounding area.

  • The cancer spreads to one lymph node: tumour size is more than 6 cm
  • To the same size of the neck: size is larger than 3 cm
  • Anywhere in the neck (to over one lymph node): cancer spreads outside
  • The opposite side of the neck (to one lymph node): cancer spreads through the outside covering

Stage IVC

The cancer spreads to other body parts like the liver, bone, or lungs

Treatment for the Small Intestine Curable

Proton Therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses positively charged particles called protons to target and destroy cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy tissue. This makes proton therapy particularly useful for treating larynx cancers and other cancers in sensitive areas where it can be difficult to avoid affecting the surrounding normal tissues.

At Apollo Hospitals, they are equipped with the latest proton therapy technology ensuring accurate delivery of radiation doses along with minimal side effects. Their team of experienced radiation oncologists, dedicated paramedics and physicists can help you decide if proton therapy is the right treatment for your larynx cancer.


The aforementioned narration has described the larynx cancer stages in detail. Each patient cancer treatment is unique, given that every patient experiences the condition differently from others.

Upon diagnosing, an oncologist may suggest any of the four standard treatment types – radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery. Targeted therapy and radiosensitizers are the new treatments. A patient undergoing any laryngeal cancer treatment may experience side effects. It's better to consult a professional in that matter.

Also, a patient diagnosed with larynx cancer may experience significant emotional impacts. The emotional changes may trigger feelings of depression. One may experience physical, emotional, or mental pain while dealing with the condition.