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Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Staging of Ovarian Cancer

Based upon the findings during exploratory surgery, the tumour is formally "staged" according to the size, extent, and location of the cancer. Accurate staging during surgery is very important in determining a woman's long-term outcome (prognosis) and choosing the appropriate treatment regimen after surgery.


In general, the stages I, II, III, and IV refer to the location of tumour involvement, while the subdivisions A, B, and C define the extent of tumour involvement. A higher stage of disease indicates more extensive tumour involvement. Worldwide, 23 to 33 percent of women have stage I disease at diagnosis, 9 to 13 percent of women have stage II, 46 to 47 percent have stage III, and 12 to 16 percent have stage IV.


Recommendations for postsurgical treatment vary according to disease stage. While a course of chemotherapy is recommended after surgery for all women with stage III or IV ovarian cancer, it may or may not be recommended for women who have stage I or II disease.

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