Ovarian cancer is a gynecologic sarcoma, which is second
most frequently diagnosed. In the United States, females
have a 1.4 % to 2.5 % chance of developing ovarian cancer.
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
(FIGO), has standardized the staging of gynecological
cancers. It is the most frequently used prognostic tool.
Both surgical and pathological findings are taken into
account. The cancer is staged according to whether it is
still in the ovary or spread beyond.
Staging is generally done at the time of surgery.
Samples of tissues are taken from various parts of the
pelvis and abdomen and studied under intense observation.
Staging is very important because the prognosis or the
course of action to be taken varies at different stages in
case of any cancer. It is important that the staging is
accurate. It is possible to miss the spread of the ovarian
cancer outside the ovary if it is not staged properly.
Stage IV is the last category of the stages of ovarian
cancer. Patients in this stage typically exhibit
parenchymal liver metastases and extra-abdominal
metastases. Thirteen percent of patients alive are in stage
IV. The most common areas where the cancer spreads are
generally the liver and lungs. One-third of all ovarian
cancer patients have pleural effusions and most of them
contain malignant cells. The spleen also gets affected may
require splenectomy. Only 0.1% of patients show metastases
of the brain.
If the tumor is widespread, treatment begins with
surgery, which may include total hysterectomy, followed by
chemotherapy. If some tumor remnant is left after
chemotherapy, further forms of chemotherapy may be needed.
It is important for a patient to find out about the staging
procedure and the stage. In this way the patient will and
can take part in making vital decisions about the required