HOW IS CERVICAL CANCER STAGED?
Cervical Cancer is staged with the FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) system of staging. This system classified the disease in stages O through IV. It is based on clinical staging rather than surgical staging. This means that the extent of disease is evaluated by the doctor’s physical examination and a few other tests that are done in some cases, such as Cystoscopy and proctoscopy.
FIGO SYSTEM OF STAGING
Stage O: The cancer cells are very superficial (only affecting the surface) are found only in the layer of cells lining the cervix. This stage is also called carcinoma in situ (CIS).
Stage I: In this stage cancer has invaded the cervix but it has not spread anywhere.
Stage IA: This is the earliest form of stage I. There is a very small amount of cancer, and it can only be seen under a microscope.
Stage IA1: The area of cancer invasion is less than 3mm deep and less than 7mm wide.
Stage IA2: The area of cancer invasion is between 3mm and 5mm deep and less than 7mm wide.
Stage IB: This stage includes stage I cancers that can be seen without a microscope. Invasion is more than 5mm into connective tissue of the cervix or is wider than 7mm.
Stage IB1: The cancer can be seen but it is not larger than 4cm.
Stage IB2: The cancer can be seen and is larger than 4cm.
Stage II: In this stage, the cancer has grown beyond the cervix and uterus, but has not spread to the walls of the pelvis or the lower part of the vagina.
Stage IIA: The cancer has not spread into the tissue next to the cervix (called the parametria). Cancer may have grown into the upper part of the vagina.
Stage IIB: The cancer has spread into the tissues next to the cervix.
Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina or the pelvic wall. Cancer may be blocking the ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).
Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina.
Stage IIIB: Cancer has grown into the pelvic wall. If the tumor has blocked the ureters (a condition called hydronephrosis). It is also called stage IIIB.
Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of cervical cancer. Cancer has spread to nearby organs or other parts of the body.
Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to the bladder or rectum, which are organs close to the cervix.
Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to distant organs beyond the pelvic area, such as the lungs.
Don’t wait for symptoms to appear, early cervical cancer screening and vaccination are important.