Staging is a process that tells a doctor if the cancer has spread and if it has, how far. It depends on the severity of the original tumor, and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or distant parts of the body. Staging is an important step in evaluating treatment options. Staging for tonsil cancer is the same as staging for oropharyngeal cancer since the tonsil is a specific subsite within the oropharynx. Please refer to Understanding Pharyngeal Cancer for more details.