Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. The stage of cervical cancer is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in women across the world. Cervical cancer affects the cervix, which is the lower portion of the uteruCervical cancer is caused due the incidence of Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. HPV generally propagates through sexual contact and can be cured if detected in the earlier stages of the disease.
Different Stages Of Cervical Cancer
Carcinoma In Situ Or Stage 0
Carcinoma in situ or Stage 0 of cervical cancer is akin to the pre-invasive cancer period when the cancerous growth and malignant cells lie on the surface of the first layer of tissues. In this stage, the cells are limited to the superficial skin and affect the outer lining of the cervix.
In Stage 1, cervical cancer remains restricted to the region of the cervix but starts spreading to all portions of the cervical region. This stage of cervical cancer is further divided into various subcategories which depend on the size of the tumor and its growth.
This is the first level of Stage 1 in which the growth of the cancerous cells is microscopic in nature. As the stage progresses to Stage 1A1, the size of the cells is less than 3 mm deep and 7 mm wide. With the onset of Stage 1A2 the size increases to 3 mm to 5 mm in depth and almost 7 mm in width.
In Stage 1B of cervical cancer, the cancerous growth can be observed under a microscope. In this stage of the disease, the tumor spreads to the connective tissues and starts invading the deeper layers of the tissues. The tumor is almost 4 cm in size in Stage 1B1 and starts growing beyond 4cm in Stage 1B2
In Stage 2 of cervical cancer, the cells start spreading into the adjoining tissues but still refrain from invading the muscles and tissues of the pelvic wall.
In Stage 2A, the tumor affects the upper two thirds part of the vagina but stays away from the walls of the uterus. In Stage 2A1, the size of the tumor is less than 4 cm whereas in Stage 2A2, it becomes more than 4 cm.
The cancerous growth starts spreading outside the cervical region and invades into the uterus.
Stage 3 finds the growth spreading into the lower parts of the vagina but remains restricted to the pelvic region. In this stage the tumor starts blocking the tubes which carry urine to the bladder and results in the kidney getting affected with cancerous growth.
Stage 3A is when the cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina but not the pelvic wall.
Stage 3B means the tumour has grown through to the pelvic wall or is blocking one or both of the tubes that drain the kidneys.
This stage is usually treated with radiotherapy and chemoradiation We know from research that this combined treatment can improve the survival rates of stage 3 cervical cancer.
Stage 4 is the advanced stage of all the stages of cervical cancer. Cancer has grown bigger and spread to the nearby organs and or other body parts.
In stage 4A, cancer has grown into the bladder or rectum, while it has reached the other organs such as lungs, bones.
If the cancer has spread to organs further away, such as the lungs, your doctor may call it stage 4B.
This stage of cancer may be treated with surgery radiotherapy chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments. Some women may choose just to have treatment to control symptoms at this stage.