The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system is used to identify the staging of cervical cancer and this system is based on clinical examination as compared to surgical findings. The system gives room for certain diagnostic tests to be carries out when identifying the stages of cervical cancer. The tests that are allowed include cervical conization, proctoscopy, inspection, endocervical curettage, cystoscopy, palpation, intravenous urography, X-ray examination of the lungs and skeleton, hysteroscopy, as well as colposcopy.
The first among the cervical cancer stages is Stage O also known as Carcinoma in Situ. At this stage, the abnormal cells are located in the inner parts of the cervix. With time, these cells go on to develop into cancer and they in turn go ahead and spread into the otherwise normal tissue that is nearby.
Stage I cancer is where the cancer has started to form and it is located only in the cervix. This stage is divided into other sub stages IA and IB. The sub-stages depend on the levels of the cancer that is found within. Stage IA has a very small level of cancer which can be detected using a microscope. This stage is further divided into Stage IA1 and IA2 depending on the tumor size. Stage IA1 has the cancer being less than 3 millimeters deep and 7 millimeters wide while Stage IA2 has the cancer being more than 3 millimeters but not more than 5 millimeters in depth and 7 millimeters in width.
In stage IB the cancer could be seen with a microscope and the size is 5 millimeters in depth and 7 millimeters in width. It could however turn out that it can not be seen with a microscope in which case it would either be Stage IB1 where it is not larger than 4 centimeters or Stage IB2 where it is larger than 4 centimeters.
Stage II cancer is where the cancer has spread outside the cervix but not to the pelvic wall or the lower regions of the vagina. It is divided into Stage IIA where the cancer has not reached the uterus and Stage IIB where the cancer has spread past the cervix to the upper parts of the vagina and to the tissues surrounding the uterus.
Another of the Cervical Cancer Stages is Stage III and here, the cancer has spread to the lower regions of the vagina and could have spread to the pelvic wall as well and resulted in kidney failure. This stage is divided into Stage IIIA where the cancer has not reached the pelvic wall and Stage IIIB where the cancer has spread beyond the pelvic wall and the tumor has even blocked the ureters. This could lead to kidney trouble. Sometimes, the cancer cells could have spread even to the lymph nodes in the parts of the pelvis.
The final stage among the Cervical Cancer Stages is Stage IV where the cancer has spread to the areas of the rectum, bladder and other body parts. This stage is divided into Stage IVA and Stage IVB. Stage IVA is where the cancer may not have spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis despite spreading to the bladder as well as the rectal wall. Stage IVB is where the cancer has spread even beyond the pelvis as well as the lymph nodes in the pelvis and to other parts of the body like the lungs, liver, abdomen and intestinal tract.
- Cervical Cancer Facts
- Cervical Cancer Definition
- Cervical Cancer Causes
- Cervical Cancer Prevention
- Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
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