The stages of hypopharyngeal cancer are numbered 0 through IV.
Stage 0: Cancer is restricted only in the lining of the hypopharynx. There are no infected lymph nodes.
Stage I: The tumor is in the hypopharynx and is 2 centimeters (about 1/2 inch) or smaller in size. There is no spread to lymph nodes.
Stage II: The growth is either larger than 2 centimeters, but not larger than 4 centimeters (in between about 1/2 and 1 1/2 inches), and has not spread to the larynx (voice box), OR it is discovered in more than one area of the hypopharynx or tissues close by. There is no spread to lymph nodes.
Stage III: The tumor can be any size but is restricted to the throat, however the cancer has typically also infected a single lymph node on the very same side of the neck, and the lymph node is 3 centimeters (just over 1 inch) or smaller.
Stage IV: This stage is divided into Stage IVA, IVB, and IVC.
Stages IVA and IVB: This is a sophisticated stage in which regional disease and/or lymph node illness has actually spread out. The spreading may involve movement from the throat into nearby soft tissues, such as the voice box, the thyroid gland, or the carotid artery. Neck disease may have infected numerous lymph nodes or huge lymph nodes (over 6 centimeters; between 2 and 2 1/2 inches).
Stage IVC: The cancer has spread beyond the hypopharynx to other parts of the body.