Ovarian cancer is perceived to be the most dreadful in comparison to other types of female reproductive cancers. The exact cause for this complication is not known. However, hereditary causes are obvious. Women with a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer are likely to develop the risk for ovarian cancer.
Though the ovarian cancer may occur in any part of the ovary, mostly it arise from the outer lining (epithelium) of the ovary. If not treated properly, this cancer can spread to other parts of the reproductive system and can affect the digestive system as well.
The process of staging the cancer is vital, so as to find out how widespread the cancer is and to determine whether or not there are possibilities to cure the patient. Because ovarian cancer have a different foreseeing of the possible course and termination of the complication at different stages and each stage has to be treated in a different manner.
Actually, doctors usually use 1 to 4 staging system for ovarian cancer, and this is called as FIGO system, which was named after its members (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics). They used a number system to identify the stage in which the cancer in the ovary prevails.
As per that the stages of ovarian cancer has been segregated into four stages, which in turn is further subdivided into few internal stages.
Different Stages Of Ovarian Cancer
This stage is the most initial form of ovarian cancer and is least aggressive one. In this stage, the cancer is mostly inside the ovary, but can be found in either side of the ovaries, or both sides. In this stage, the most consoling part is that the cancer has not spread to the abdominal organs, lymph nodes or the areas outside the abdomen.
In this stage, the cancer is completely enclosed in the ovary (one ovary ), and has not shed any cells outside.
Unlike stage 1A, the cancer is present in both the ovaries, but, without any tumor on the outer surfaces. ( only in stage 1A and 1B, the cancer is confined to the ovaries only and the membrane covering the ovaries is not broken by the growth of cancer).
In this stage, the membrane of either side of the ovary may face the condition of being burst and some signs may emerge indicating that the cancer cells have started shedding outside, that is in the pelvic region.
Women diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer have cancer growth that is limited to the ovaries and to some extent to the other pelvic areas like bladder, rectum, uterus etc. But, the patient can be sure that the cancer growth is confined only to the pelvic region.
At this stage, the cancer is in one or both the ovaries, with extension to the fallopian tubes or uterus.
The cancer has grown into the other areas of pelvis, may be in sigmoid colon or bladder or rectum.
The cancer growth pursues into the tissues in pelvic region. In the previous stage, the cancer cells are not found in the fluid of the lining of abdominal cavity. Whereas, in stage 2c, the cancer cells are found in the fluid.
Cancer growth is found in both the ovaries and starts extending its growth to the abdominal cavity. But, at this stage the cells are in the growing phase and can be seen using microscope.
Cancer cells have grown into tangible tumors in the lining of the abdomen.
Cancer cells extends its growth across the lining of the abdomen and spreads to upper abdomen, groin area etc.
This is the most aggressive stage of ovarian cancer. At this stage, the cancer growth spreads its wide extension by crossing the upper abdomen and spreads to lungs, liver, pancreas etc.
Photo Credit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/01/10/ovarian-cancer-pap.html