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Ovarian Cancer Stages

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Updated July 15, 2006

There are four stages of ovarian cancer. Each stage identifies the size and location of the tumor. The more advanced stage of ovarian cancer, the more difficult it is to treat.

Ovarian cancer is stages by a system call FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics), and uses a number system to identify the stage.

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Stage I:

This is the earliest form of ovarian cancer. Cancer is found in one or both ovaries. Stage I ovarian cancer is divided into three stages.
  • Stage IA: Cancer is present in one ovary.
  • Stage IB: Cancer is present in both ovaries.
  • Stage IC: Cancer is present in one or both ovaries and cancer is found on the outside surface of one or both ovaries, or the outer covering of the tumor has ruptured, or cancer cells are found in the fluid or tissue linings of the abdomen.

Stage II:

In stage II ovarian cancer, cancer is present in one or both ovaries, and has spread to other parts of the pelvic region. There are three stages in stage II ovarian cancer.
  • Stage IIA: Cancer has spread to the uterus and/or fallopian tubes.
  • Stage IIB: Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to other organs in the pelvic region such as the bladder, rectum, or sigmoid colon.
  • Stage IIC: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder, sigmoid colon, or rectum. Cancer may also be present is tissue and fluid samples of the lining of the abdominal cavity.

Stage III: In stage III ovarian cancer, cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to the abdomen. Stage III ovarian cancer is divided into three different stages.
  • Stage IIIA: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to a small part of the abdomen.
  • Satge IIIB: Cancer is present in one both ovaries and has spread to the peritoneum in an amount less than 2 centimeters. The peritoneum is the lining of the abdominal cavity.
  • Stage IIIC: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries, and has spread to the pertinoneum more than 2 centimeters and/or has spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IV: Stage IV ovarian cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease. In this stage, cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to parts of the body beyond the abdomen, like the lungs and liver.



Sources:
National Cancer Insitute. Stages of Ovaian Epithelial Cancer; May 04, 2005
Imaginis. Ovarian Cancer Stages;July 21, 2001
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