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Stages of Cervical Cancer

After cervical cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the cervix or to other parts of the body. Options for treating cervical cancer depend chiefly on the stage of disease — the size of the cancer, the depth of invasion, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Stage 0 or “in situ”

Stage 0 describes cancer that has only been found in the layer of cells lining the cervix. The cancer has not invaded the deeper tissues of the cervix.

Stage I

This stage describes cancer that has spread from the lining of the cervix into the deeper connective tissue of the cervix. Stage I cancer is still confined to the uterus.
Stage IA: This is the earliest form of stage I cancer. Only a small amount of cancer is visible upon microscopic examination.
– Stage IA1: The area of invasion is less than 3 millimeters (approximately 1/8 inch) deep and less than 7 millimeters (approximately 1/3 inch) wide.
– Stage IA2: The area of invasion is between 3 mm (millimeters) and 5 mm (approximately 1/5 inch) deep, and less than 7 mm (approximately 1/3 inch) wide.
Stage IB – This stage includes tumors that can be seen without a microscope. It also includes tumors that cannot be seen without a microscope but that are more than 7 millimeters wide and have penetrated more than 5 millimeters of connective cervical tissue.
– Stage IB1 : Tumor that is no bigger than 4 centimeters.
– Stage IB2 : Tumor that is bigger than 4 centimeters. Tumor has spread to organs and tissues outside the cervix but is still limited to the pelvic area.

Stage II

Cancer has spread beyond the cervix but not to the pelvic wall or to the lower third of the vagina.
– Stage IIA: Cancer has spread to the upper part of the vagina. The lower third of the vagina has not been affected.
– Stage IIB: In this stage, cancer has spread to tissue near the cervix. This tissue is called parametrial tissue.

Stage III

This stage indicates that cancer has spread to the lower portion of the vagina. It could have also spread to the pelvic wall in this stage.
– Stage IIIA: This stage includes cancer that has spread to the lower third of the vagina but has not spread to the pelvic wall.
– Stage IIIB: This stage includes cancer that extends to the pelvic wall and/or blocks urine flow to the bladder.

Stage IV

This is the most advanced stage of cervical cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
– Stage IVA: This stage includes cancer that has spread to areas close to the cervix, such as the bladder or rectum.
– Stage IVB: This stage of cervical cancer is not considered curable. In this stage, cancer has spread to distant areas of the body, like the lungs.

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