What You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer Stages:
Once cervical cancer has been diagnosed the stage needs to be determined. A stage reveals how much the cancer has progressed. There are five cervical cancer stages, beginning with stage 0. Stage 0 indicates early cervical cancer, while stage 4 indicates advanced cervical cancer. The stage at diagnosis is one factor that determines the treatment options available.
Also called "carcinoma in situ", stage 0 indicates non-invasive cervical cancer. In this stage, cancerous cells are only found on the surface of the cervix. Stage 0 cervical cancer is highly treatable and has an excellent survival rate.
Cancerous cells have invaded the cervix and are no longer confined to the surface of the cervix, but have not spread beyond the cervix. There are two sub-stages in stage I, stages IA and IB.
IB:Cancer may be seen with or without a microscope. Stage 1B is divided into two categories, IB1 and IB2. In IB1, the cancer is no more than 4 centimeters big. IB2 is larger than 4 centimeters.
In this stage, the cancer has spread beyond the cervix, but is still contained within the pelvic area. Stage two is divided into two categories, IIA and IIB.
- IIA: Cancer has spread to the upper two-thirds of the vagina, but has not invaded the tissue around the uterus.
- IIB: The cancer has spread to the upper two-thirds of the vagina and the tissue around the uterus.
In this stage, the cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina, may have spread to the pelvic wall, and may have caused kidney damage. Stage III is divided into two categories, IIIA and IIIB.
- IIIA: The cancer has spread to lower third of the vagina and is confined in that area.
- IIIB: The cancer has spread to pelvic wall. It may have grown large enough to block the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder, causing damage to the kidneys.
This is the final and most advanced stage of cervical cancer. The cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body. Stage IV is divided into two stages, IVA and IVB.
- IVA: In this stage, the cancer has spread to organs close to the cervix, like the bladder and rectum.
- IVB: In IVB, the cancer has spread to distant organs, such as the lungs.