Surgical Staging

When ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it is vital to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries. Your treatment team may do more tests to determine if the cancer has spread. In addition, during surgery, certain additional steps should be performed to determine the extent of the disease. This process is called staging. Staging helps to determine the exact extent of your cancer and what treatment plan is best for you.

Following surgery, your cancer will be categorized into one of the following stages:

Stage I: The cancer is found in one or both ovaries. Cancer cells also may be found on the surface of the ovaries or in fluid collected from the abdomen.

Stage II: The cancer has spread from one or both ovaries to other tissues in the pelvis, such as the fallopian tubes or uterus. Cancer cells may also be found in fluid collected from the abdomen.

Stage III: The cancer has spread outside the pelvis or nearby lymph nodes.
Most commonly the cancer spreads to the omentum (an apron of fatty tissue that hangs down from the colon and stomach), diaphragm, intestine and the outside (surface) of the liver.

Stage IV: The cancer has spread to tissues outside the abdomen and pelvis. Most commonly the cancer has spread to the space around the lungs. If the cancer spreads inside the liver or spleen, it is considered stage IV.

The cancer will also be assigned a grade. Grade refers to how abnormal the cells appear under a microscope. Low grade tumors, also called grade 1, have features that resemble normal ovarian cells. In contrast, in high grade tumors (grades 3) the microscopic appearance is greatly altered from normal.

Spotlight

This special section in Self Magazine features a GYN surgeon and 34-year-old (at the time of diagnosis) patient.

Awareness

This year’s National Race to End Women’s Cancer aims to spread the word that all women should Love Your Ladyparts! Check out site’s new features and join the MOVEMENT.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be notified in January. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course will be Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 in D.C. For more information on educational events and courses, click here.