Stages of Fallopian Cancer
Fallopian tube cancer, when using medical terms, is a neoplasm is the fallopian tube. In your everyday woman's terms, a neoplasm means an abnormal mass of tissue growing inside the fallopian tubes. Fallopian tube cancer is often simply called tubal cancer.
According to a report by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, there are about 300 to 400 women diagnosed with this type of cancer in the United States every year. Only about 2,000 cases of fallopian cancer have been medically reported worldwide. If these numbers were converted into statistics, only about one to two percent of all reproductive system cancers are fallopian tube cancer.
Fallopian Cancer Stages
The progression of the cancer can be divided into four stages. It's important for doctors to know the stage of the cancer in order to determine the most effective choice of treatment.
According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), cancers of the upper female reproductive system, like fallopian tube cancer, can only be correctly assessed by surgically removing tissue and examining it. Sometimes a hysterectomy is necessary depending on the suspected stage of the tube cancer.
Here are the stages of tube cancer.
· Stage 1: The cancer is found only in the fallopian tubes.
· Stage 2: The cancer has spread inside the pelvis as well as one or both fallopian tubes. In Stage 2 the cancer has not yet spread beyond the pelvis
· Stage 3: Cancerous growths are discovered on the surfaces of the abdominal organs outside the pelvis as well as one or both fallopian tubes. In Stage 3 it's possible for the cancer to spread to nearby lymph nodes.
· Stage 4: This is the most severe stage where the cancer is found in one or both fallopian tubes as well as more distant locations in the body such as the liver.
The first three stages are divided up into sub-stages when the tumor is analyzed.
The Breakdown of Stage 1 of Fallopian Cancer
· 1A: This is when the cancer cells are discovered in the inner lining of one tube.
· 1B: This is when doctors discover the cancer in the inner linings of both tubes.
· 1C: At this point the cancer cells have spread past the inner lining of the tubes. A sign that the cancer has reached this stage is if there is fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity (medically referred to as ascites) and cancer cells have been found in this fluid. Sometimes a saline solution will be introduced into the peritoneal cavity and then removed to test for cancer cells. This is called a peritoneal washing and if cancer cells are found, the woman is diagnosed with Stage 3C of fallopian tube cancer.
The Breakdown of Stage 2 of Fallopian Cancer
· 2A: This is the first part of Stage 2 of fallopian tube cancer and means that the cancer has spread to one or both ovaries and/or the uterus. No cancer cells are in the ascites and peritoneal washings don't show any cancer cells either.
· 2B: In this stage the cancer is not found in the ascites or peritoneal washings, but it has spread to other parts of the pelvis besides the ovaries and uterus.
· 2C: The cancer has spread to other areas of the pelvis and is in one or both fallopian tubes. Cells are also found in ascites and/or peritoneal washings.
The Breakdown of Stage 3 of Fallopian Cancer
· 3A: Cancer cells that are so tiny they're not visible to the naked eye can be found on the surfaces of other abdominal organs like the liver or intestines.
· 3B: The microscopic cancer cells have developed into clumps on internal organs. The clumps are small and no larger than ¾-inch.
· 3C: Large clumps of cancer cells are found on the internal organs. Cancer cells may have even spread into the local lymph nodes. The cancer clumps are bigger than ¾-inch.