Cervical Cancer - Staging
Stages and Staging of Cervical Cancer
A doctor will use various tests to help determine the stage of cervical cancer or how far the disease has spread. Staging helps a doctor decide which method of treatment is most suitable depending on if, and how far the cancer has spread.
Cervical cancer contains is rated using stages 0 to 4. Local treatment is used for the initial stages and affects only a small part of the body. More advanced stages of cervical cancer will require a systemic treatment which involves treating the entire body.
This stage is also called carcinoma situ and it refers to a situation where cancerous cervical cells have been detected, but have not yet spread to surrounding tissue. This stage of cancer is non-invasive and is often treated with a cone biopsy or a hysterectomy for more severe cases.
In this stage, the cancer has grown into the cervical tissue. The stages are broken up into further parts:
The cancer has grown less than 3 mm (â…› inch) into the cervical tissue and is less than 7 mm (Â¼ inch) wide.
The cancer has grown between 3-5 mm (1/5 inch), but is still less than 7 mm wide.
Cancerous cells at the above 2 stages are only visible using a microscope.
The cancer is smaller than 4 cm (1.6 inches)
The cancer is larger than 4 cm across, but has not usually spread and can normally be seen without a microscope.
Surgery or radiotherapy is usually recommended for this stage of cervical cancer. Radiotherapy or radiation therapy involves killing cancer cells with a high-energy x-ray or radiation.
Cancer in stage 2 has started to spread into the surrounding tissues.
The cancer has started to spread into the vagina, but not into the womb. Surgery or radiotherapy is normally recommended.
The cancer has spread into the surrounding tissues of the cervix. This stage is usually treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy the cancerous cells.
At this stage, the cervical cancer has spread from the area surrounding the cervix. The disease may have spread to the lower part of the vagina, into the muscles and ligaments lining the pelvic wall or into the ureters which are the tubes that drain the kidneys.
The cancer has spread into the lower part of the vagina, but not into the pelvic wall.
The cancer has grown into the pelvic wall or has blocked the tubes that drain the kidneys called ureters.
Doctors normally recommend a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat cervical cancer at this stage.
This is the most advanced form of cervical cancer and it refers to the stage where the cancer has spread to other organs within the body.
The cancer has spread to surrounding organs such as the rectum or bladder.
The cancer has spread to organs located further away such as the lungs.
This advanced stage of cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
- FIGO.org - Staging Booklet
- Wikipedia - Cancer Staging (general information about tumor staging systems)
- IARC screening group - FIGO staging
- National Cervcial Cancer Coalition - Pap Smear Interpretion Information
This page was last updated:
April 22, 2006It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.