To provide the highest level of care and determine the best treatment for each patient’s individual condition, doctors use the stages of uterine cancer to describe the severity of the cancer. In most cases, surgery is needed to determine the stage of the tumor after an imaging test has diagnosed the condition.
While each specific structure in the uterus may have different staging, generally, these are the stages of uterine cancer according to the National Cancer Institute:
- Stage 0 – Abnormal cells are only found on the surface of the inner lining of the uterus
- Stage 1 – The tumor grew through the inner lining to the endometrium and possibly the myometrium
- Stage 2 – The tumor is found in the cervix
- Stage 3 – The tumor is found in nearby tissues outside of the uterus (possibly the vagina or lymph node)
- Stage 4 – Cancer has spread to the bladder or intestine, or to organs far from the uterus (liver, lungs or bones)
The success rate for treatment is higher in the early stages. Early detection is critical for successful treatment.