To plan the effective treatment for your condition, your provider needs to understand the extent, or stage, of the disease. The stage is based on whether the tumor has invaded nearby tissues and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
For ovarian cancer, surgery is usually required for accurate staging. The surgeon takes many samples of tissue from the pelvis and abdomen to look for cancer.
The stages of ovarian cancer are:
Cancer cells are found in one or both ovaries. Cancer cells may be found on the surface of the ovaries or in fluid collected from the abdomen.
Cancer cells have spread from one or both ovaries to other tissues in the pelvis. Cancer cells are found on the fallopian tubes, the uterus, or other tissues in the pelvis. Cancer cells may also be found in fluid collected from the abdomen.
Cancer cells have spread outside the pelvis to the abdomen or to the regional lymph nodes. Cancer cells may be found on the outside of the liver.
Cancer cells have spread to tissues outside the abdomen and pelvis. Cancer cells may be found inside the liver, in the lungs, or in other organs.