Cervical cancer has five stages as well as a few sub-stages. Once you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, your healthcare professional will check to see if cancer has spread to other parts of your body. This process is called staging and will help your healthcare professional determine the best form of treatment.
The primary categories of staging cervical cancer include:
- Stage 0 – Abnormal cells have been detected in the cervix.
- Stage I – An invasive carcinoma has been detected, but only in the cervix.
- Stage II – Cancer has passed outside of the uterus but has not yet reached the pelvic sidewall or the lower part of the vagina.
- Stage III – Cancer has now reached the lower part of the vagina, the pelvic sidewall, or a nonfunctioning kidney.
- Stage IV – Cancer has passed beyond the bladder or rectum and the pelvis.
Cervical cancer can be further broken down into subcategories:
- Stage 1a – Carcinoma has been diagnosed under a microscope.
- Stage 1b – A visible lesion has been found on the cervix.
- Stage 1b1 – A primary tumor less than 4 centimeters in diameter has been detected.
- Stage 1b2 – The tumor is greater than 4 centimeters.
- Stage IIa – Cancer has affected the upper portion of the vagina.
- Stage IIb – Cancer has spread to the parametrium.
- Stage IIIa – Cancer has been detected in the lower portion of the vagina.
- Stage IIIb – Cancer has extended to the pelvic sidewall and possibly the ureter.
- Stage IVa – The tumor has extended to the rectum or bladder.
- Stage IVb – Cancer has reached distant organs.
Early detection is best for treatment, so regular screenings are important.