There are four stages of ovarian cancer. When you get diagnosed, your doctor will try to determine which of
the stages you belong to. If you are diagnosed in the earlier stages then you have a greater chance of
survival. On the other hand, diagnosis in the latter stages could mean that your disease has progressed too
much to be cured by conventional means. Either way, you should be aware of these stages so you can know what to
expect as your ovarian cancer progresses. Each of these stages are described in greater detail below.
Stage 1 - Stage 1 is the first stage that a women will go through. Stage one is the most treatable
stage and where you ideally want to find out you have ovarian cancer. The only issue is going to be detecting
the cancer at such an early stage. Anyway, with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, a person has cancer inside one or both
of the ovaries, though in Stage 1c it is possible they could have spread into a woman's abdominal fluid. Stage
1c ovarian cancer could also involve rupture of the affected ovary due to the presence of the tumors.
Stage 2 - Stage 2 indicates that the tumors have spread from the ovaries. However, it has not gone
beyond the pelvic region. Organs that could be affected by the metastasized ovarian cancer include the bladder
or the rectum. And, like Stage 1, it is possible for the tumors to result in a ruptured ovary.
Stage 3 - With Stage 3 ovarian cancer, the tumors have spread into the abdominal cavity. They can
attack the lymph nodes, the groin area or the area that is behind the womb. The cancer is visible from the
tissues of the abdomen, (not the abdominal fluid like Stage 1 and 2). The tumors start at 2 centimeters and
grow from there.
Stage 4 - Stage 4 is the deadliest of the stage. At this stage the cancer has escaped the pelvic
region and the abdominal cavity. Any organ is game for attack, though the most common will be the liver or the
lungs. It should be noted that when the tumors attack these organs, the doctors will still offer ovarian cancer
treatment instead of liver cancer treatment or lung cancer treatment. This is because the origin of the problem
is in the ovaries, so in order to try and treat the condition, the tumors will need to be attacked there.
All in all when it comes to the stages of ovarian cancer, you will want to avoid getting diagnosed at any
stage further than 1. You can increase your chances of getting diagnosed at this stage by going to the doctor
when you have abdominal pain and/or urinary incontinence, as these are the very early signs of ovarian cancer.
Also, if you are at high risk for the condition, press your doctor for ovarian cancer screening. Granted, you
might get misdiagnosed, but if you do have the condition, the screening can help save your life.