cervical-cancer-jan-2014

Stages in cervical cancer are a fundamental key in finding out how the cancer has spread to the surrounding cells or tissues. More than 50,000 women worldwide develop cervical cancer and if the cancer is detected at its earlier stage, it’s always treatable.

cervical-cancer1

cervical-cancer-symptoms

Staging is a fundamental key in determining how severe the cancer is. It is used to diagnose the size of the tumor, the spread of cancerous cells to distant organs (metastasis) or lymph nodes, or how deeply the tumor or growth has invaded into tissues around or within the affected area. Staging is always evaluated by the doctor’s physical tests such as cystoscopy, proctoscopy or CT (computed tomography) scans of the pelvis and abdomen and it is a key factor in giving the appropriate treatment plan to the cancer patients.

cervical_cancer

In regards to cervical cancer, the FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) system, this disease is classified based upon three criteria:

  • Whether the cancer has spread to distant sites (M)
  • Whether it has spread to the lymph nodes (N) and

(3)   The extent of the tumor (T)

According to the American Cancer Society, the stages are described using the number 0 and Roman numerals from I to IV, with some stages further divided into sub-stages as indicated by letters and numbers.

Stages/ Descriptions

cervical cancer3

0: Cancer cells are only in the layer of cells lining the cervix (surface cells), without invading deeper tissues of the cervix. The stage is also called carcinoma in situ (CIS) or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade III (CIN III). This stage is not included in the FIGO system.

CIN

I: The cancer has invaded the cervix but is not growing outside the uterus and is not spread to lymph nodes (N) or distant sites (M)

IA: Earlier form of stage I, can only be seen under a microscope. There is a very small amount of cancer and not spread to N or M.

IA1: The cancer is less than 3mm (about 1/8-inch) deep and less than 7mm (about 1/4 –inch) wide and not spread to N or M.

IA2: The cancer is between 3mm and 5mm (about 1/5-inch) deep and less than 7mm (about ¼-inch) wide and not spread to N or M.

Cervical Cancer4

IB: This stage includes stage I cancers that can be seen without a microscope as well as cancers that can only be seen with a microscope if they have spread deeper than 5mm (about 1/5-inch) into the connective tissue of the cervix or are wider than 7mm and not spread to N or M.

IB1: The cancer can be seen but it is not larger than 4cm. and not spread to N or M.

IB2: The cancer can be seen and it is larger than 4cm. and not spread to N or M.

II: The cancer has grown beyond the cervix and uterus but has not spread to the walls of the pelvis or the lower part of the vagina.

IIA: The cancer has not spread into the tissues next to the cervix (called the parametria) but may have grown into the upper part of the vagina and not spread to N or M.

IIA1: The cancer can be seen but it is not larger than 4cm. and not spread to N or M.

IIA2: The cancer can be seen and it is larger than 4cm. and not spread to N or M.

IIB: The cancer has spread into the tissues next to the cervix (called the parametria) and not spread to N or M.

III: The cancer has spread to the walls of the pelvis or the lower part of the vagina and not spread to N or M.

IIIA: The cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina but not to the walls of the pelvis and not spread to N or M.

IIIB: Either

The cancer has grown into the walls of the pelvis and/ or has blocked one or both ureters (a condition called hydronephrosis), and not spread to N or M.

Or,

The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis but not to distant sites. The tumor can be any size and may have spread to the lower part of the vagina or walls of the pelvis.

IV: The most advanced stage of cervical cancer. The cancer has spread to nearby organs or other parts of the body.

IVA: The cancer has spread to the bladder or rectum, which are organs close to the cervix and not spread to N or M.

IVB: The cancer has spread to the distant organs beyond the pelvis area, such as the lungs or liver

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