Stages of Cervical Cancer
When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.
The following stages are used for cervical cancer:
Carcinoma in Situ (Stage 0)
In carcinoma in situ (stage 0), abnormalcells are found in the innermost lining of the cervix. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue.
Millimeters (mm). A sharp pencil point is about 1 mm, a new crayon point is about 2 mm, and a new pencil eraser is about 5 mm.
In stage I, cancer is found in the cervix only. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB, based on the amount of cancer that is found.
- Stage IA: A very small amount of cancer that can only be seen with a microscope is found in the tissues of the cervix. Stage IA is divided into stages IA1 and IA2, based on the size of the tumor.
- In stage IA1, the cancer is not more than 3 millimeters deep and not more than 7 millimeters wide.
- In stage IA2, the cancer is more than 3 but not more than 5 millimeters deep, and not more than 7 millimeters wide.
- Stage IB: In stage IB, cancer can only be seen with a microscope and is more than 5 millimeters deep or more than 7 millimeters wide, or can be seen without a microscope. Cancer that can be seen without a microscope is divided into stages IB1 and IB2, based on the size of the tumor.
- In stage IB1, the cancer can be seen without a microscope and is 4 centimeters or smaller.
- In stage IB2, the cancer can be seen without a microscope and is larger than 4 centimeters.
In stage II, cancer has spread beyond the cervix but not to the pelvic wall (the tissues that line the part of the body between the hips) or to the lower third of the vagina. Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB, based on how far the cancer has spread.
- Stage IIA: Cancer has spread beyond the cervix to the upper two thirds of the vagina but not to tissues around the uterus. Stage IIA is divided into stages IIA1 and IIA2, based on the size of the tumor.
- In stage IIA1, the tumor can be seen without a microscope and is 4 centimeters or smaller.
- In stage IIA2, the tumor can be seen without a microscope and is larger than 4 centimeters.
- Stage IIB: Cancer has spread beyond the cervix to the upper two thirds of the vagina and to the tissues around the uterus.