The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it has spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.
T stage 3 cancer of the larynx is also called locally advanced cancer.
Doctors use the ‘T’ part of the TNM system to stage cancer of the larynx. They call this the T stage. The T stage refers to how far your cancer has spread within the larynx and surrounding tissue.
The exact T staging of laryngeal cancer varies. It depends on which part of your larynx the cancer started in. Cancer can start:
- above the vocal cords (supraglottis)
- on the vocal cords (glottis)
- below the vocal cords (subglottis) - this is rare
T stage 3
T stage 3 means one of the following:
- the tumour is more bulky and has caused one of the vocal cords not to move (your doctor may call this fixed)
- the tumour has grown into nearby areas such as the tissue in front of the epiglottis (pre-epiglottis tissues) or the inner part of the thyroid cartilage
The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:
- your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
- where the cancer is
- other health conditions that you have
You might have chemotherapy with radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). There may be reasons why you can't have chemotherapy (for example, due to other medical conditions). If this is the case, you may have a targeted cancer drug instead, or radiotherapy alone.
Instead of chemoradiotherapy, you might have surgery. The surgeon may use a laser to remove the cancer through your mouth (trans-oral laser surgery.) Or you might have surgery to remove part of your voice box (partial laryngectomy). The surgeon is also likely to remove your lymph nodes. Or you have radiotherapy to these lymph nodes.
If your cancer is in the area below your vocal cords (subglottis), you might have surgery to remove all of your voice box (total laryngectomy). You have radiotherapy afterwards to lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Or you may have radiotherapy alone.