Stage III

In Stage III ovarian cancer, cancer cells have spread to tissues outside the pelvis or to regional lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen (retroperitoneal lymph nodes). Cancer cells may be found on the outside of the liver.

  • IIIA – Tumor is largely confined to the pelvis but with micro-scopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis to abdominal peritoneal surfaces or the omentum.
  • IIIB – Same as IIIA but with macro-scopic peritoneal or omental metastases beyond pelvis less than 2 cm in size
  • IIIC – Same as IIIA but with peritoneal or omental metastases beyond pelvis, larger than 2 cm or lymph node metastases to inguinal, pelvic, or para-aortic areas. Cancer may have also spread to the lymp nodes, but it has not spread to the inside of the liver or spleen or to distant sites.

60% of all cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed when they are Stage III. (Source)

Prognosis & Survival Rates

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.

StageRelative 5-Year Survival Rate
Source: American Cancer Society


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.