Decorative image

Stages, types and grades

The type tells you what type of cell the cancer started in. The grade tells you how much the cancer cells look like normal cells. The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. They all help your doctor decide which treatment you need.


Most mouth and oropharyngeal cancers are squamous cell cancers. But there are less common types. 

Number stages and grades

There are 4 main stages in this system (stage 1 - 4). Some doctors also use stage 0. 

TNM stages

Find out about tumour, node and metastasis (TNM) staging system and treatment for mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. 

Last reviewed: 
23 Oct 2014

Information and help