What Is Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer reaches stage 3 when the tumor has spread outside the pelvis and into the abdominal cavity. The tumor has spread to the lymph nodes of the groin, upper abdomen, and behind the womb.

Photograph of surgeon holding a 3d scale model of the ovaries, to explain stage 3 ovarian cancerStage IIIA-1

At this stage, cancer has grown into one or both ovaries. It has spread into the organs near the pelvis into the retroperitoneal lymph nodes only.

Stage IIIA-2

The cancer is present in one or both ovaries. It has also spread or grown into the organs outside the pelvis. Also, at this stage, cancer in the abdomen is not visible to the naked eye, but tiny deposits can be found in the outer lining of the abdominal tissue when seen under a microscope. Cancer may or may not have spread to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes but has not spread to distant sites.

Stage IIIB

The cancer is present in one or both ovaries and has spread into the organs outside the pelvic region. The tumor is visible to the naked eye at this stage but is no bigger than 2 cm. Cancer also might or might not have spread to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes but has not spread to the inside of the liver or spleen or distant sites.

Stage IIIC

The cancer is present in one or both ovaries. It has also spread or grown into the organs outside the pelvis. The cancer is visible to the naked eye at this stage, and the deposits are more prominent than 2 cm and may also be present on the outside of the liver or spleen.

Cancer may or may not have spread to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, but it has not spread to the inside of the liver or spleen or distant sites.

See more on stages of ovarian cancer.

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