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Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer Overview

By Logan Pallas

 

 

Stage III ovarian cancer is a more serious level of cancer, which has spread to include the pelvic area and organs, and the abdominal organs (liver, bowels, lymph nodes, etc.), and it is easier to diagnose. It is used as part of the prognosis made by a doctor.

Stage III ovarian cancer is then further defined by the TNM determination rating system. TNM is defined to mean to tumor size, node inclusion, metastasis or spread status and grade of the tumor. It will ultimately let doctors known how long a patient has to live and whether they will survive. These factors include:

Each part is defined as follows:

TNM determination rating system

Tumor size – Due to the spread of Stage III, the tumors can only be defined as one of the following:

T3: the tumor is inside one (or both) ovary; the tumor spread includes tissues in the pelvic region, outside the pelvic region and lymph node (s); cancerous cells are found in the abdominal fluids (ascites) or the abdominal cavity washes (peritoneal lavage)

T3a: the tumor is inside one (or both) ovary; the tumor spread includes tissues in the pelvic region, outside the pelvic region and beyond the pelvic region

T3b: the tumor is inside one (or both) ovary; the tumor spread includes tissues in the pelvic region, outside the pelvic region and beyond the pelvic region that are now a maximum size of up to 2cm, and can be seen without a microscope

T3c: the tumor is inside one (or both) ovary; the tumor spread includes tissues in the pelvic region, outside the pelvic region and beyond the pelvic region that is now a 2cm or more in size, and can be seen easily

Node inclusion – As the cancer is at Stage III its classification is:

N1: the tumor has spread to include the lymph nodes

Metastasis or spread determination – As Stage III cancer has been found, only the following classification can be used:

M1: metastases have been found somewhere

Grade of the tumor

The grading of a tumor shows the maturity of the cancerous cells inside the ovary (s). As the cancer is now at Stage III, it can only be classified as the following:

Grade 2: a combination of both normal and cancerous cells; cancerous cells account for about every other cell

Grade 3: very few normal cells if any are left; most or all cells are cancerous

The lower the grade, the slower a tumor will grow, and the better the patient’s chance of survival. The higher the grade, the quicker the tumor may grow or spread, and the chances of survival are greatly diminished. In this case, Stage III ovarian cancer has greatly reduced the patient’s chances of recovery and/or survival.

Stage groupings

The stage groupings are used to show the order of the varied factors included in the TNM determination rating system. Stage III groupings are as follows:

Stage III

Stage IIIa: T3a, N0, M0

Stage IIIb: T3b, N0, M0

Stage IIIc: T3c, N0, M0, or T(varied), N1, M0

Logan Pallas is a health writer and researcher. In his articles he covers stage 3 ovarian cancer as well as other aspects of ovarian cancer and other forms of this disease. He is the editor of Cancer Breakthroughs online magazine.

 

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