Ovarian Cancer Stages
Stage I Ovarian Cancer
In stage I, cancer is found in one or both of the ovaries and has not spread. Stage I is divided into stage IA, stage IB, and stage IC. In stage IA, cancer is found in a single ovary; in stage IB, it is found in both ovaries. In stage IC, cancer is found in one or both ovaries and one of the following is true:
- Cancer is found on the outside surface of one or both ovaries
- The capsule (outer covering) of the tumor has ruptured (broken open)
- Cancer cells are found in the fluid of the peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen) or in washings of the peritoneum (tissue lining the peritoneal cavity).
Stage II Ovarian Cancer
In this ovarian cancer stage, cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread into other areas of the pelvis. Stage II is divided into stage IIA, stage IIB, and stage IIC, with the following distinctions:
- Stage IIA: Cancer has spread to the uterus and/or the fallopian tubes (the long, slender tubes through which eggs pass from the ovaries to the uterus).
- Stage IIB: Cancer has spread to other tissue within the pelvis.
- Stage IIC: Cancer has spread to the uterus and/or fallopian tubes and/or other tissue within the pelvis. Cancer cells are also found in the fluid of the peritoneal cavity or in washings of the peritoneum.
Stage III Ovarian Cancer
In stage III, the disease is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to other parts of the abdomen. Stage III is divided into stage IIIA, stage IIIB, and stage IIIC.
- Stage IIIA: The tumor is found only in the pelvis, but cancer cells have spread to the surface of the peritoneum.
- Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to the peritoneum but is 2 centimeters or smaller in diameter.
- Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to the peritoneum and is larger than 2 centimeters in diameter and/or has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen.
Cancer that has spread to the surface of the liver is also considered stage III disease.