Stage I

Stage I: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries:

  • Stage IA: Cancer is found inside a single ovary.
  • Stage IB: Cancer is found inside both ovaries.
  • Stage IC: Cancer is found inside one or both ovaries and one of the following is true:
    • cancer is also found on the outside surface of one or both ovaries; or
    • the capsule (outer covering) of the ovary has ruptured (broken open); or
    • cancer cells are found in the fluid of the peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen) or in washings of the peritoneum (tissue lining the peritoneal cavity).

15% of all cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed with they are Stage I. (Source)

Stage 1 Prognosis & Survival Rates

For all types of ovarian cancer taken together, about 3 in 4 (72.4%) women with ovarian cancer live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. Almost half (46.2%) of women with ovarian cancer are still alive at least 5 years after diagnosis. Women diagnosed when they are younger than 65 do better than older women.

Most women with Stage I ovarian cancer have an excellent prognosis. Stage I patients with grade I tumors have a 5-year survival of over 90%, as do patients in stages IA and IB. Survival rates are often based on studies of large numbers of people, but they can’t predict what will happen in any particular person’s case. Other factors impact a woman’s prognosis, including her general health, the grade of the cancer, and how well the cancer responds to treatment.

StageRelative 5-Year Survival Rate
I90%
IA94%
IB92%
IC85%
Source: American Cancer Society

Stage 1 Treatment

Generally women with Stage I ovarian cancer have a total abdominal hysterectomy, removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (called a salpingo-oopherectomy), an omentectomy (removal of the omentum, a sheet of fat that covers some abdominal organs), biopsy of lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen. Women of childbearing age who wish to preserve their fertility and whose disease is confined to one ovary may be treated by a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy without a hysterectomy. (Omentectomy and the other parts of the staging procedure are still performed.) Depending on the pathologist’s interpretation of the tissue removed, there may be no further treatment if the cancer is low grade, or if the tumor is high grade the patient may receive combination chemotherapy.