What are the stages of ovarian cancer?
Your doctor determines the stage based on how far the cancer has spread. There are four stages, and each stage has sub-stages:
Stage 1 ovarian cancer has 3 sub-stages:
The cancer is limited, or localized, to one ovary in stage 1A.
The cancer is in both ovaries in stage 1B.
In stage 1C, there are also cancer cells on the outside of the ovary.
In stage 2, the tumor has spread to other pelvic structures. In stage 2A, the cancer has spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes. In stage 2B, it has spread to the bladder or rectum.
Stage 3 ovarian cancer has three sub-stages:
In stage 3A, the cancer has spread beyond the pelvis to the lining of the abdomen and the lymph nodes in the abdomen.
In stage 3B, the cancer cells are outside of the spleen or liver.
In stage 3C, deposits of cancer at least 3/4 of an inch are seen on the abdomen or outside the spleen or liver. However, the cancer isn’t inside the spleen or liver.
In stage 4, the tumor has metastasized, or spread, beyond the pelvis, abdomen, and lymph nodes to the liver or lungs.
In stage 4A, the cancerous cells are in the fluid around the lungs.
Stage 4B is the most advanced stage. In stage 4B, the cells have reached the inside of the spleen or liver or even other distant organs like the skin or brain.
How ovarian cancer is treated
The treatment depends on how far the cancer has spread. A team of doctors will determine a treatment plan depending on your situation. It will most likely include two or more of the following:
- Surgery to stage the cancer and remove the tumor
- Targeted therapy
- Hormone therapy
Surgery is the main treatment for ovarian cancer. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor, but a hysterectomy, or complete removal of the uterus is often necessary.
The doctor might also recommend removing both ovaries and fallopian tubes, nearby lymph nodes, and other pelvic tissue.
Always remember that Identifying all tumor locations is difficult.
Targeted therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments, attack the cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells in the body.
While science and technology is rushing for a definitive cure to all forms of cancer, the best thing to do for our part is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a health-conscious outlook in life.
This means that we should always consider our health in everything we do. If you feel unwell or notice something strange with you body, do not second guess, go to your doctor and tell them how you feel.
Prevention is always better than cure, right?
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