Know about the Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer has some warning signs that should not be ignored like cramps that keep occurring and abnormal bleeding from vagina. Ovarian cancer particularly is tricky to diagnose but after diagnosis, depending on the stage, treatment is advised. The various stages and sub-stages of ovarian cancer are listed below –

stages of ovarian cancer

Stage 1

This is the initial state of ovarian cancer and if a person is in this stage it indicates that the cancer is restricted to the ovaries only. This stage is further sub-divided into 3 more stages

  • 1a – The presence of cancer is only within one ovary and there are no presences of cancerous cells outside the ovary.
  • 1b – This stage is similar to stage 1a but in this case the cancer is present and confined to both the ovaries
  • 1c – Presence of cancer is present in either one or both ovaries in conjunction with any of the below situation
    • “Surgical spill” referring that the cancer cells have managed to leak to abdomen and pelvis when the tissue enclosing the tumor broke while in surgery.
    • Spill from ovary to pelvis or abdomen has happened but before surgery has taken place
    • Medical tests have confirmed the presence of cells containing cancer in the fluids of pelvis and abdomen.

Stage 2

In this stage the cancer no longer confines itself to the ovary; it has viciously spread itself to the nearby organs like “fallopian tubes, rectum, bladder or uterus”.

  • 2a – The uterus or the fallopian tubes are affected by the outgrowth of cancer in ovaries.
  • 2b – The presence of cancer has extended itself to organs in the pelvic region like rectum, bladder or sigmoid colon.

Stage 3

Here the cancer has further worsened and affected the organs beyond pelvic region. From the ovaries or fallopian tube cancer has propagated to the lymph nodes at the back of abdomen or abdomen lining

  • 3a – Naked human eye cannot determine the presence of cancer, but when the lining of abdomen is checked under microscope tiny deposits of cancerous cells can be found
  • 3b – This is the advanced stage of stage 3 where tumors can be visibly identified.
  • 3c – The tumors are larger than 2cm and has spread itself into the pelvic organs. Also, even though cancer has viciously affected the lymph nodes it has still not spread itself to spleen and liver.

Stage 4

Most advanced stage in ovarian cancer where the cancerous cells have extended themselves to liver, lungs and even spleen.

The earlier ovarian cancer is detected; the maximum is the chance of recovery. Prevention from multiple diseases is possible through periodic checkup.