NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017
Staging systems | Ovarian cancer stages
A staging system is a standard way to describe the
extent of cancer in the body. There are two staging
systems for ovarian cancer: the AJCC (
ancer) staging system and the
bstetrics) staging system. These staging systems
are very similar. But, the FIGO system is used most
In the FIGO system, the cancer stage is defined by
three main areas of cancer growth:
The extent of the first (primary) tumor
The spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes
The spread of cancer to distant sites
The ovarian cancer stages are labeled by Roman
numerals I, II, III, and IV. The stages are also divided
into smaller groups. This helps to describe the extent
of cancer in more detail. The smaller groups are
labeled by adding letters and numbers to the Roman
numerals. The next section describes each cancer
stage as defined by the FIGO staging system.
Ovarian cancer stages
Ovarian cancers of the same stage tend to have
a similar prognosis. A prognosis is the likely or
expected course and outcome of a disease. In
general, earlier cancer stages have better outcomes.
But, doctors define cancer stages with information
from thousands of patients, so a cancer stage gives
an average outcome. It may not tell the outcome
for one person. Some people will do better than
expected. Others will do worse. Other factors not
used for cancer staging, such as your general health,
are also very important.
The stages of ovarian cancer are described next.
The cancer stages are defined by the FIGO staging
The best advice that I could offer someone facing an illness is to stay positive
no matter how much it tears you down, fight for the life you deserve, and please
be pro-active because no one at any age, class, or race is invincible to cancer,
disease, and illness.