Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the cancers that are specific to women. Like other cancers, ovarian cancer has many stages, treatment options depending on the cancer stage.

Stages of ovarian cancer

Cancers usually have four stages that indicate the magnitude of the cancer in the body – and in relation, the treatment options available.

In deciding on which treatment to use, your doctor will consider the stage of the cancer, your age, overall health, and your cell type. When your cancer was discovered, a biopsy will be performed to determine the stage of the cancer. Next, the gynecologic oncologist will recommend treatment. As the patient, you should ask as many questions as is needed to find out about ovarian cancer, you physical situation, your prognosis (prospects, diagnosis), and what treatments are available to you.

Stage I

The cancer is present only in one or both ovaries and has not spread into the other parts of the body.

Treatment options: at the first stage, you may receive an abdominal hysterectomy which will remove both your ovaries and the fallopian tubes. If you are young and would still like to have children, and if the cancer is confined to one ovary, it is possible to remove one ovary and one fallopian tube without a hysterectomy. However, this might be the only option if your cancer is low grade. If the cancer is a higher grade, you can expect to receive chemotherapy as well.

Stage II

In stage II, the cancer is present in one or both ovaries, as well as in the uterus and/or fallopian tubes. This also means that the cancer is in the lymph nodes or in other areas outside the pelvis.

Treatment options: at this stage, you will get a hysterectomy and a sampling will do on your lymph nodes to check if the disease has spread. The treatment will either be chemo alone, or in combination with radiation

Stage III

By the third stage, the cancer has spread outside the ovaries and pelvic organs into the upper abdomen and/or lymph nodes.

Treatment options: treatment at this stage is usually similar to stage II. In addition, you may have to have more surgery to find and get rid of additional cancer.

Stage IV

In Stage IV of ovarian cancer, the disease has spread further than the abdomen or into the liver.

Treatment options: treatment for stage IV cancer involves both chemotherapy and surgery. However, it is difficult to remove all stage IV cancers with surgery and the available chemotherapy is unable to eliminate all of the remaining cancer.