Stage III: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread outside the pelvis to other parts of the abdomen and/or nearby lymph nodes. Cancer that has spread to the surface of the liver is also considered stage III ovarian cancer.
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- Stage IIIA: The tumor is found in the pelvis only, but cancer cells that can be seen only with a microscope have spread to the surface of the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen), the small intestines, or the tissue that connects the small intestines to the wall of the abdomen.
- Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to the peritoneum and the cancer in the peritoneum is 2 centimeters or smaller.
- Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to the peritoneum and the cancer in the peritoneum is larger than 2 centimeters and/or cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen.
60% of all cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed when they are Stage III. (Source)
For all types of ovarian cancer taken together, about 3 in 4 women with ovarian cancer live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. Almost half (46%) 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 diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of approximately 39%. 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.
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Treatment for Stage III ovarian cancer is the same as for Stage II ovarian cancer: hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes), debulking of as much of the tumor as possible, and sampling of lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen that are suspected of harboring cancer. After surgery, the patient may either receive combination chemotherapy possibly followed by additional surgery to find and remove any remaining cancer.