Cervical Cancer Staging

Win the Fight Against Cervical Cancer!



Cervical Cancer Staging

If the biopsy shows that you have cancer, your doctor will do a thorough pelvic exam and may remove additional tissue to learn the extent (stage) of your disease. The stage tells whether the tumor has invaded nearby tissues, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body.

These are the stages of cervical cancer staging:

Stage 0: The cancer is found only in the top layer of cells in the tissue that lines the cervix. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I: The cancer has invaded the cervix beneath the top layer of cells. It is found only in the cervix.

Stage II: The cancer extends beyond the cervix into nearby tissues. It extends to the upper part of the vagina. The cancer does not invade the lower third of the vagina or the pelvic wall (the lining of the part of the body between the hips).

Stage III: The cancer extends to the lower part of the vagina. It also may have spread to the pelvic wall and nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV: The cancer has spread to the bladder, rectum, or other parts of the body.

Recurrent cancer: The cancer was treated, but has returned after a period of time during which it could not be detected. The cancer may show up again in the cervix or in other parts of the body.

To learn the extent of disease and suggest a course of treatment, the doctor may order some of the following tests:

Chest x-rays: X-rays often can show whether cancer has spread to the lungs.

CT scan: An x-ray machine linked to a computer takes a series of detailed pictures of your organs. You may receive contrast material by injection in your arm or hand, by mouth, or by enema. (Some people are allergic to contrast materials that contain iodine. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have allergies.) The contrast material makes abnormal areas easier to see. A tumor in the liver, lungs, or elsewhere in the body can show up on the CT scan.

MRI: A powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of your pelvis and abdomen. The doctor can view these pictures on a monitor and can print them on film. An MRI can show whether cancer has spread. Sometimes contrast material makes abnormal areas show up more clearly on the picture.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound device is held against the abdomen or inserted into the vagina. The device sends out sound waves that people cannot hear. The waves bounce off the cervix and nearby tissues, and a computer uses the echoes to create a picture. Tumors may produce echoes that are different from the echoes made by healthy tissues. The picture can show whether cancer has spread.





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