The Stages of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that grows over time and that can be very devastating to the health of a woman. It is a disease that can be easily identified by regularly having pap tests, so it is important to do your best to take all the preventative measures that you can. In this article, well work towards helping you to understand cervical cancer better by letting you know what types of stages the disease goes through as it develops within the female body.

According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, there are five stages of progression for cervical cancer, numbering from stage zero to stage four. Well examine each of these stages in-depth to give you a good idea about how to gauge the progression of the disease.

Zero Stage

Stage zero of cervical cancer involves a superficial cancerous entity that exists in the lining of the surface of the cervix. The deeper tissues of the cervix have not yet been affected by the disease at this stage.

Stage One

During stage one of cervical cancer, the disease has successfully begun to attack the cervix. This stage is separated into several sub-stages which work to identify the size of the tumor that is present. The stages progress in the following manner: stage 1A1, stage 1A2, stage 1B1, and stage 1B2. In the ‘A stages, the cancer itself is not visible to the naked eye and only detectable via a microscope.

During stage 1A1, the invaded area of the cervix is only roughly an eighth of an inch deep or smaller and about one quarter inch wide. Once the disease progresses to the ‘B stages, the cancer should be clearly visible. During stage 1B2, the cancer has developed to a point at which it is larger than four centimeters.

Stage Two

Stage two of the disease begins to occur when the cancer begins to spread beyond the cervix while still remaining in the pelvic area. In stage 2A, the upper third of the vagina may be afflicted by the cancer. In stage 2B, the cancer has spread to the parametrial tissue, located near the cervix.

Three and Four

In stage three of the disease, the cancer continues to spread. In stage 3A, the cancer may have spread to the lower parts of the vagina. During stage 3B, the cancer really begins to affect the bodys functionality, spreading to the pelvic wall and possibly blocking the victims urine flow.

Stage four is the last stage of the disease, and consequently the most devastating to an individuals livelihood. Patients in stage 4A have cancers that have developed to the point that the bladder or the rectum is affected. In stage 4B, the cancer spreads even more, heading towards the upper organs of the body and infecting areas such as the lungs.

Now that you have a better idea about how cervical cancer is staged, youre more likely to be able to diagnose exactly what point cervical cancer is at in development. Remember, the best way to avoid falling victim to cervical cancer is to take many preventative measures.