Cancer staging is a term used to refer to describing the tumor's size and whether or not it has spread beyond the area where it began.
Staging systems are constantly being updated to be able to help doctors plan the best treatment and help give them an idea of the probable outcome of treatment.
Cervical cancer is divided into four main stages.
The cancer cells are only in the cervix.
The cancer can only be seen with a microscope or colposcope.
- Stage 1A1 The cancer has a depth of 3 mm or less and a width of 7 mm or less.
- Stage 1A2 The cancer has a depth of 3-5 mm or less and a width of 7 mm or less.
The cancer has grown more, but it is still confined to the cervix.
- Stage 1B1 The cancer is not bigger than 4 cm.
- Stage 1B2 The cancer is larger than 4 cm.
The cancer has spread to the surrounding structures, such as the upper part of the vagina or the tissues near the cervix.
The cancer has spread to the upper part of the vagina.
- Stage 2A1 The size of the tumor is not bigger than 4 cm.
- Stage 2A2 The tumor is bigger than 4 cm in size.
The cancer has spread to the tissues located near the cervix.
The cancer has spread to areas such as the lower part of the vagina or the tissues located on the sides of the pelvic area.
The cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina.
The cancer has spread throughout the tissues of the pelvic area and may be pressing up against one of the ureters (the tubes that urine passes through from the kidneys to the bladder). If the tumor is pressing up against the ureter, there may be a build-up of urine in the kidney.
The cancer has spread to the bladder or the intestine or beyond the pelvic area.
The cancer has spread to nearby organs such as the bladder and the intestine.
The cancer has spread to distant organs such as the lungs, liver, or bones.
Your doctors may use the following terms to describe your cancer:
• Early-stage cervical cancer - this generally includes stages 1A and 2A.
• Locally advanced cervical cancer - this generally includes stages 2B to 4A.
• Advanced-stage cervical cancer - this generally includes stage 4B.
If the cancer returns after initial treatment, it is known as recurrent cancer.