Cancer has actually spread:
Cancer may have spread out from the glottis, supraglottis, or subglottis to the space in front of the spinal column, the area around the carotid artery, or the location in between the lungs. Cancer has spread out.
As in Stage III, the main choices for preliminary treatment are surgical treatment or chemotherapy with radiation.
Immunotherapy might be another option for some people with stage IV cancer.
If any cancer remains after treatment, surgery can then be done to attempt to remove it.
In these cases, the finest treatment might be surgery to eliminate the throat and nearby tissues with cancer (such as the thyroid gland).
Cancers that are too big or have actually spread out too far to be entirely removed by surgical treatment are frequently treated with radiation, usually integrated with chemotherapy or cetuximab.
Another alternative might be treatment with an immunotherapy drug, either alone or with chemotherapy.
In some cases, if the tumor diminishes enough, surgery of lymph nodes in the neck might be an alternative.
But for many advanced cancers, the goal of treatment is typically to slow the development or stop of the cancer for as long as possible and to assist alleviate any symptoms it may be causing.