Endometrial Cancer Stages
As every cancer appears in various stages, in the same way even endometrial cancer can be seen in different stages. Endometrial cancer stages begin with a small tumor in the endometrium (lining of your uterus). As the tumor spreads, your cancer stage elevates; and finally when the cancerous cells get spread into other body organs, your cancer is considered to be in advanced stage.
Process of Endometrial Cancer Staging:
Staging of cancer refers to the process of detecting the patient and studying the extent of spread of cancer. Examining the stage of uterine cancer plays a vital role in opting for a specific treatment plan. While diagnosing your cancer, make sure to ask your doctor about your stage of cancer as this will help you choose a treatment plan as per your preference.
Doctors prefer a staging system to explain at what extent your cancer is spread.
Two known systems for staging uterine cancer:
In order to classify the stages of uterine cancer following 3 aspects are taken into consideration:
Stages of Endometrial cancer:
Endometrial cancer stages are mainly categorized in 4 stages and these are demonstrated by combining the information of T, N and M. This process is referred as stage grouping.
T, N0, and M0: This indicates that the cancer cells are present at the surface layer of the endometrium and are not developed in to the lining below this surface. The cancer cells have not spread at N and M levels. This is considered as a pre-cancerous abrasion, which is not included in the staging system. This stage is also referred to as carcinoma- in-situ.
Stage- I (T1, N0, M0): At this level, cancer not only starts to develop in the uterus but can also be seen in the glands of the cervix. But in this case, the cancer cells are not attached with the other connecting tissues of the cervix. T1a, N0, M0: The cancer cells can be found in the endometrium and some part of the underlying muscular tissues of the uterus (the myometrium).
T1b, N0, M0 : At this level, cancer cells starts to develop half a way more than the endometrium as well as myometrium. This starts to spread further through the myometrium.
Stage- II (T2, N0, M0):
The cancer cells starts to spread from the uterus towards the tissues that connects the cervix to the uterus. Its medical name is cervical stroma. The tumor has not found to be spread out of the uterus.
Stage-III (T3, N0, M0): Cancer cells may get spread into the tissues outside the uterus. These tissues belong to the area nearby the pelvis.
T3a, N0,M0 : Cancer cells get spread to the outer layer of the uterus ( serosa). It may also get spread in to the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
T3b, N0, M0: Tumor get spreads in the tissues around the uterus as well as the vagina.
T1 to T3, N1, M0 : Tumor starts developing inside the entire body of the uterus. It may also spread into the adjoining tissues except the tissues of rectum and bladder. At this stage, cancer cells starts to develop in the lymph nodes (except the lymph nodes around aorta and adjoining organs).
T1 to T3, N2, M0:
Cancer has spread throughout the uterus and may have moved in to some nearby tissues, but is not developed in to the lymph nodes adjoining the aorta and other organs.
The cancer cells have spread in to the inner lining of the rectum (present at the end of the large intestine) or the urinary bladder. This can also get spread in to the groin or to the distant organs such as lungs, liver, bones or omentum.
T4, N, M0: Cancer cells get spread into the interior part of the urinary bladder or rectum. At this level, it may be or may not be spread into the lymph nodes. Not spread at distant levels.
T, N, M1 : This can be said to be the advanced stage of uterine cancer, where the cancer cells get spread into distant organs such as lungs, omentum or bones. Cancer tumors may develop in any size. It may or may not get spread in the lymph nodes.
In this way uterine cancer is staged by the doctors. It is essential for a patient to understand all the endometrial cancer stages, as it helps to know the rate of uterine cancer life expectancy. Cancer becomes worst as the extent of the spread of cancerous tumor increases.