Ovaries are female reproductive organs, present in pairs, and are responsible for ovulation (production of ovule/egg). Ovaries also secrete hormones which are estrogen and progesterone. The cancerous growth that takes place in ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. It is mostly seen in older women whereas can also occur in younger women.
Symptoms of this cancer include pain in the abdominal region, back pain, bloating, frequent urination, tiredness, lump or mass in the abdomen, weight loss, constipation and abnormal bleeding from vagina. Ovarian cancer is considered to be the fifth most common cancer in women and it mainly occurs in post-menopausal women. The cancer in ovaries may arise from its epithelium, can be stromal, or can arise from its germ cells (cells that are responsible for producing eggs).
Stages of Ovarian Cancer
Staging in cancer is done to determine its spread as well as to determine the size and location of the tumor. Staging for ovarian cancer is done by obtaining a tissue sample from the pelvic area. Stages of cancer help the doctor to determine the condition of the disease and the type of treatment to be given. Ovarian cancer has four stages. These stages of ovarian cancer are mentioned as follows.
Ovarian Cancer Stage 1
Stage 1 refers to the growth of cancer which is present in the ovaries only. This initial stage of ovarian cancer is sub-divided into 3 further stages.
Stage 1A refers to the location of cancer which is confined to one ovary.
Stage 1 B refers to the location of cancer which has involved both the ovaries.
Stage 1 C refers to the condition of ovarian cancer in which the cancer cells have now covered the surface of these reproductive structures or there may be a rupture in the outer surface of the tumor due to which the cancer cells can now be obtained from the pelvic fluid which was not possible in the previous two sub-stages. Sub-stage 1C can be in the case of both sub-stage 1A and 1B.
Ovarian Cancer Stage 2
The second stage of ovarian cancer refers to the further spread of cancer cells. Cancer from the ovaries has now begun to enter the surrounding pelvic area and abdomen. Or it may have involved other organs in that area. The second stage of ovarian cancer is sub divided as:
Stage 2 A refers to the growth of cancer in the fallopian tubules or in the uterus.
Stage 2 B
Stage 2 B refers to the spread of cancer in other tissues or structures or pelvis such as bladder, sigmoid colon or rectum.
Stage 2 C
In stage 2 C the cancer cells can be found in abdominal fluid.
Ovarian Cancer Stage 3
In third stage of ovarian cancer, the cancer spreads from organs further to the lining of abdomen and also to the nearing lymph nodes.
This stage is further divided into:
In Stage 3 A cancer growths can be found in the lining of abdomen.
Stage 3 B
In Stage 3 B cancer growth in the lining of abdomen is 2cm in size or maybe smaller.
Stage 3 C
In stage 3 C the cancerous growth size has exceeded the range of 2cm or may have spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
This refers to the advanced form of ovarian cancer. It determines the spread of cancer to distant organs such as liver and lungs as well as to the distant lymph nodes. In this stage, cancer cells may be found in the pleural fluid as well.