Glossary of Medical Terms

stage IV salivary gland cancer

Stage IV salivary gland cancer is divided into stages IVA, IVB, and IVC. In stage IVA, (1) the tumor may be any size and may have spread to soft tissue around the affected gland. Cancer has spread to a single lymph node on the same side as the tumor and the lymph node is larger than 3 centimeters but not larger than 6 centimeters, or has spread to more than one lymph node on either or both sides of the body and the lymph nodes are not larger than 6 centimeters; or (2) cancer has spread to the skin, jawbone, ear canal, and/or facial nerve, and may have spread to one or more lymph nodes on either or both sides of the body; the lymph nodes are not larger than 6 centimeters. In stage IVB, (1) the tumor may be any size and may have spread to soft tissue around the affected gland. Cancer has spread to a lymph node larger than 6 centimeters; or (2) cancer has spread to the base of the skull and/or the carotid artery, and may have spread to one or more lymph nodes of any size on either or both sides of the body. In stage IVC, the tumor may be any size and may have spread to soft tissue around the affected gland, to the skin, jawbone, ear canal, facial nerve, base of the skull, or carotid artery, or to one or more lymph nodes on either or both sides of the body. Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.

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