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What Are the Stages of Ovarian Cancer?

What are the stages of ovarian cancer? After you or someone you loved has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is natural to want to know about the prognosis. Knowing these can give you an idea of what to expect.

Below, we explain the stages of ovarian cancer in detail as well as the prognosis and survival rate of each stage. But before we go there, we explain what the staging is briefly.

What Are the Stages of Ovarian Cancer?

 
What Is Staging?

Staging is a method to describe the size as well as the location of a tumor. This includes where the tumor started, whether the tumor has spread, and where the tumor is now.

Staging helps in determining the seriousness of cancer, how best to treat it, and predict a patient’s prognosis. Staging is also used when doctors talk about survival statistics.

Although knowing the prognosis can be helpful, you should know that it is only a general guideline. Individual outlook can be different from one to another as it depends on various factors, such as overall health and age.
 

What Are the Stages of Ovarian Cancer?

So, what are the stages of ovarian cancer? There are four stages, Stage I through IV with each describing specific conditions.
 
Stage I
Stage I ovarian cancer means that cancer hasn’t spread beyond the ovaries. It is divided into three substages: IA, IB, and IC.
 
IA
Stage IA means that the cancer is only in a single ovary.

IB
Stage IB means that the cancer is in both ovaries.

IC
Stage IC means that the cancer is either in one or both ovaries, and one of the conditions below is true:
  • The outside of the fallopian or ovaries has cancer cells.
  • The outer covering of the ovary has broken open.
  • Abnormal or cancerous cells are found in the peritoneal cavity, its tissue lining, or fluid from the abdomen.
The relative 5-year survival rate for Stage I is 90%, Stage IA 94%, Stage IB 92%, and Stage IC 85%.

Stage II
Stage II means that cancer has begun to spread beyond the ovaries to other areas within the pelvis. It is divided into two substages: Stage IIA and IIB.

IIA
At this stage, cancer has gone from the ovaries to either the uterus, fallopian tubes, or both.

IIB
Stage IIB means that cancer has spread to nearby organs within the pelvis such as the bladder, rectum, or colon.

The relative 5-year survival rate of Stage II is 70%, Stage IIA 78%, and Stage IIB 73%.

Stage III
At Stage III, the cancer is in either one or both ovaries and has spread beyond the pelvis to nearby lymph nodes and/or other parts of the abdomen. It is divided into three substages: Stage IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC.

IIIA
Cancer can be found in other pelvic organs as well as in lymph nodes inside the abdominal cavity or its lining.

IIIB
Cancer has spread to nearby organs in the areas of the pelvis.
IIIC

Larges deposits of abnormal or cancerous cells are found outside the liver or the spleen or cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

The relative 5-year survival rate of Stage III is 39%, Stage IIIA 59%, Stage IIIB 52%, and Stage IIIC 39%.
 
Stage IV
At Stage IV, cancer has spread to distant organs or areas in the body, such as the tissue inside the liver or lungs.

The relative 5-year survival rate of Stage IV is 17%.

Now you know the answer to the question “What are the stages of ovarian cancer?” In summary, there are four stages, Stage I through Stage IV.

The lower the number of the stage, the less ovarian cancer has spread and the better the prognosis is. We hope this helps you understand the stages of ovarian cancer better.

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