Ovarian cancer stages range from stage I to IV. Stages of cancers define extent of disease. As a rule, the lower the stage, the less the cancer has spread. A higher stage means cancer has spread more. Hence the treatment options and the chances of survival are dependent on the stage of the cancer at the time of detection and during the course of treatment. Unfortunately in India majority of the cancer cases are detected in the advanced stages due to unawareness and neglect towards health.
Systems that govern the cancer grading:
The 2 systems used for staging ovarian cancer:
- FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) system and the
- AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) TNM staging system are basically the same.
Stage I–Tumor limited to one or both ovaries.
Subcategories of stage I (A to C) are based on whether tumor is present in one or both ovaries, whether the ovarian capsule is intact, and whether there are malignant cells on the ovarian surface or in peritoneal washings or ascites.
Stage II– Tumor involves one or both ovaries with pelvic extension
Subcategories of stage II (A to C) are based on whether extension is into the uterus and/or fallopian tubes, to other pelvic tissues, and whether there are malignant cells in peritoneal washings or ascites.
Stage III– Tumor involves one or both ovaries with metastasis outside the pelvis and/or regional lymph node metastasis
Subcategories of stage III (A to C) are based on whether affected nodes are retroperitoneal, the extent of peritoneal metastases, and involvement of the spleen or liver.
Stage IV-Distant metastases other than peritoneal metastases
Subcategories of stage IV (A and B) are based on the presence of a pleural effusion and/or involvement of the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes outside the abdominal cavity.
Please note that the type of treatment for cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, hence it is important that you opt for the recommended diagnostic tests and keep consulting your cancer specialist to know about the status of your cancer.