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Ovarian Cancer Stages

Ovarian cancer as the name suggests is a cancer of the ovaries. It starts with the ovaries and starts spreading in the pelvis and abdomen regions. All types of cancers are staged and so is ovarian cancer, stage 1 being the least serious and stage 4 being the most serious.

Ovarian Cancer Stage 3

Ovarian cancer stage 3 can be further divided into stage 3A, stage 3B and stage 3C with stage 3A being the least serious and 3C the most serious within this stage. In the first sub-stage cancer is present in the ovaries, but not in the abdomen.
In the second sub-stage the cancer has worsened and has also spread to the abdomen. In the last sub-stage of stage 3, the cancer is also present in the lymph nodes. Ovarian cancer stage 3 symptoms include severe pain in the lower abdomen, irregular and painful menstrual cycles, back pain and pain in the hips, constipation problems, excessive urination, painful intercourse and bloating up of the stomach. Ovarian cancer stage 3 treatment typically includes surgery and chemotherapy. During surgery, the surgeon will try and remove as much as the cancer as possible. It is supposedly beneficial as it brings down the number of cancer cells and the cancer cells that remain are eventually destroyed by chemotherapy. However, at this stage it is likely that the cancer still remains in the body as it spreads to areas other than the ovaries. Chemotherapy is also most often advised to patients suffering from stage 3 ovarian cancer. The combination of these two treatment methods is believed to increase the chances of survival or at least prolongs survival. As for ovarian cancer stage 3 life expectancy based on the five year survival rate is around 50% for stage 3A patients, around 40% for stage 3 B patients and only around 30% for 3 C patients.

Ovarian Cancer Stage 4

Ovarian cancer stage 4 is the last stage of this type of cancer. Unfortunately, if a cancer patient has reached this stage, his cancer cannot be cured. Moreover, this type of cancer remains undetected and is therefore difficult to cure in the early stages itself. At this stage, the cancer has spread to the lungs, liver, and the abdomen and even to the organs outside the peritoneal cavity. Ovarian cancer stage 4 symptoms range from an overall feeling of sickness, extreme fatigue, severe and chronic constipation, loss of appetite, heavy swelling in the abdomen and respiratory problems. Other symptoms may include nausea and excessive flatulence. In this stage parenchymal liver metastases and extra-abdominal metastases are common. It is very difficult to cure cancer at this stage. Ovarian cancer stage 4 treatment includes surgery and chemotherapy. Sometimes, it may involve a total hysterectomy or removal of other parts affected by the cancer. This is complemented by chemotherapy. Whatever be the advised treatment method, the patient is informed about the plus and minus points and plays an important role in deciding the treatment method to be pursued.

For ovarian cancer life expectancy is determined in examining the 5 year period of possibility of survival. Ovarian cancer stage 4 life expectancy is around 18% for a 5 year period. And not many patients survive at this stage. Only around 10 per cent of stage 4 cancer patients survive for long periods even after treatment. Like any other form of cancer, this type of cancer can be extremely distressing for the patient and her loved ones. It is important for family and friends of the patient to be supportive and loving. The patient needs to be proactive, keep herself informed about the development of the disease and choose the right treatment method accordingly.

Submitted on January 16, 2014