Uterine Cancer Stages / Staging
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Video: Cancer StagingDr. Timothy McCay explains what the stages of cancer mean and how this information is determined. He also discusses why determining the stage of cancer is critical to treatment planning.
Dr. Timothy McCay explains what the stages of cancer mean and how this information is determined. He also discusses why determining the stage of cancer is critical to treatment planning.
Staging is a system that describes the extent of cancer in the body. Our cancer doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests to stage uterine cancer and develop the best treatment plan for you. Staging is done after a biopsy, in which a sample of abnormal cells is taken and examined under a microscope. The staging process may include a combination of diagnostic tests to assess the spread and extent of the disease.
Your oncologist will stage the cancer based on how the disease develops in the body, including:
- The location of the original tumor
- Tumor size and number of tumors
- Whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
- Cell appearance under a microscope
- Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, called metastasis
Staging for Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer is staged using the TNM system:
- Tumor (T) describes the size of the original tumor.
- Lymph Node (N) indicates whether the cancer is present in the lymph nodes.
- Metastasis (M) refers to whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body, usually the liver, bones or brain.
Once the T, N, and M scores have been assigned, an overall stage is assigned.
Uterine Cancer Stages:
Based on test results, your oncologist will assign one of the following cancer stages to the disease. After the uterine cancer staging process, your team will work together to create the right treatment plan for you.
- Stage I - The cancer cells are confined to the uterus. The disease has not spread anywhere else in the body.
- Stage IA - The cancer was found in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).
- Stage IB - The cancer has spread from the endometrium at least half way into the myometrium (muscular wall of the uterus).
- Stage IC - The cancer has spread from the endometrium all the way through the myometrium, but was not found beyond the body of the uterus.
- Stage II - The cancer has spread from the uterus to the cervix, but the cancer is not found elsewhere in the body.
- Stage IIA - The cancer is found throughout the uterus and in the lining of the cervix.
- Stage IIB - The cancer has spread from the uterus and into the lining of the cervix and the supporting connective tissue.
- Stage III - The cancer remains contained in the pelvic area and may be found throughout the uterus, cervix and connective tissues.
- Stage IIIA - The cancer has progressed to the fallopian tubes or ovaries, the peritoneal fluid and the serosa (tissue on the outer surface of the uterus).
- Stage IIIB - The cancer has spread to the vagina, but not to the lymph nodes or distant parts of the body.
- Stage IIIC - The cancer has continued to progress, spreading to the lymph nodes near the uterus.
- Stage IV - The cancer continues to advance, spreading to the inner surface of the urinary bladder or the rectum to the lymph nodes in the groin and/or to distant organs
such as the lungs.
- Stage IVA - The cancer has spread to the mucosa, which is the inner lining of the rectum or urinary bladder. The cancer may also have spread to the lymph nodes but not to distant parts of the body.
- Stage IVB - The cancer has spread to the organs next to the uterus or to distant lymph nodes.
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