Types, Stages, and Grades


Types of Ovarian Cancer

Information on types of ovarian cancer is under construction. Check back soon!

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

The stage of ovarian cancer represents how far it has spread and is used to determine treatment and prognosis.

In Stage I ovarian cancer, the cancer is isolated to the ovary or fallopian tube.

  • In Stage IA, the cancer is isolated to one ovary.
  • In Stage IB, cancer is found in both ovaries.
  • In Stage IC, cancer is found in one or both ovaries, with cancer cells existing outside the ovaries as well.
    • Stage IC1 consists of a rupture of the capsule (tissue surrounding the tumor) during surgery.
    • Stage IC2 signifies a ruptured capsule before surgery.
    • Stage IC3 represents cancer cells found in the fluid of the pelvis or abdomen or cancer on the surface of the ovary

Stage II ovarian cancer defines growth of the cancer involving one or both ovaries and cancer cells that have spread to the pelvic area.

  • In Stage IIA, the cancer has spread to the fallopian tubes or uterus.
  • In Stage IIB, the cancer has spread to other pelvic organs.

Stage III ovarian cancer signifies growth of the cancer involving one or more ovaries and the cancer having spread beyond the pelvis.

  • In Stage IIIA, cancer cells are found in the upper abdomen or lymph nodes.
  • In Stage IIIB, a tumor less than two centimeters in size is visible in the upper abdomen.
  • In Stage IIIC, a tumor greater than two centimeters in size is visible in the upper abdomen, including cancer cells on the surface of the liver or spleen.

Stage IV defines ovarian cancer that has spread widely throughout the body.

  • In Stage IVA, cancer is found in the fluid around the lungs.
  • In Stage IVB, cancer is found inside the lungs, liver, or spleen or in other distant organs.

Grades of Ovarian Cancer

The grade of an ovarian tumor describes how the cancer cells look under a microscope compared to surrounding normal, healthy cells.

Grade 1 describes cancer tissue that contains many healthy-looking cells, which is referred to as “well-differentiated” tissue.

Grade 2 describes cancer tissue in which more cells appear abnormal than healthy, also called “moderately differentiated.”

Grade 3 describes cancer tissue with a lack of normal structure in which more abnormal than healthy cells appear, also called “poorly differentiated” or “undifferentiated.”

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