Ovarian Cancer Stages - What Do They Mean?

Published: 23rd July 2008
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Ovarian Cancer is not as widely publicized as breast cancer, so many people are left searching online and through books for more information on symptoms, survival rates, warning signs, and stages. This article will break down the staging and explain what each different one means.

Stage 1: This of course is the earliest form of cancer. In this stage, cancer is found in one or both ovaries. It is further divided into the following sub-stages.

1A: 1 ovary involved, no ascites (fluid in the abdomen), no tumor on external surface.

1B: Both ovaries involved, no ascites, no tumor on external surface.

1C: Cancer is present in either one or both ovaries but with tumor on the surface, ascites, malignant cells in fluid or lining of abdomen.

Stage 2: This stage is also considered early. Most diagnoses are made in stages 3 and 4. One or both ovaries are involved, but cancer has spread to other pelvic regions.

2A: Extension to uterus and/or tubes.

2B: One or both ovaries and extension to other pelvic organs.

2C: Same as 2A or 2B but with addition of tumor on the surface of one or both ovaries, capsule rupture, or ascites.

Stage 3: Cancer tumor involving one or both ovaries with extension to the abdomen.

3A: One or both ovaries and extension to small area of abdomen.

3B: Metastasis or extension to the peritoneum, or abdominal cavity lining.

3C: Cancer in one or both ovaries, extension to peritoneum, involvement of lymph nodes.

Stage 4: Most advanced stage of disease. Distant metastases to other parts of the body beyond the abdomen such as liver and lungs.

Ovarian cancer diagnosis is usually made in the latter stages due to the disease's nonspecific symptoms. Studies have shown that only about 20% are diagnosed at stage I, 5% stage II, 58% stage III, and 17% stage IV. Routine checkups and being alert for early signs and symptoms are key.

Get more information about ovarian cancer early warning signs. Visit http://www.ovcainformationandhelp.com and get lots of helpful information and tips from a cancer survivor.

Read an inspiring story about ovarian cancer and learn one unusual symptom to look for.

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