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What do different stages of cervical cancer mean?

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After all of the tests results are back, your doctor will use them to determine if and how far your cancer has spread, which will show them what stage it is in. Staging classifies the cancer by how much is in your body and where it has spread when it’s diagnosed. Knowing the stage can help your medical team plan the right treatment for you.

The stages of cervical cancer are:

Your stage of a cancer won’t be changed if your cancer gets worse or comes back. Your doctor will always refer to it by the stage it was when it was diagnosed.

  • Stage 0. Cancer is only on the surface of the cervix and have not grown into deeper tissues.
  • Stage I. The cancer has grown into the cervix, but it hasn't spread to lymph nodes or other organs.
  • Stage II. The cancer has spread outside of the cervix and uterus. It may have reached the upper part of the vagina.
  • Stage III. The cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina or the walls of the pelvis. It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV. This is the most advanced stage. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, like the bladder, rectum, lungs, or liver.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

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Is cervical cancer treatable?

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