In the Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) system, the cancer stage is defined by 3 main areas of cancer growth:
Stage 1: is where the cancer is only in one or both ovaries but has not spread to any other organs or tissues in the body. It is further divided into 1A, 1B, and 1C (1, 2, 3).
Stage 2: is where the cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to other organs or tissues within the pelvis. However, it has not spread outside the pelvis or to any lymph nodes. It is further divided into 2A and 2B.
Stage 3: Cancer is present in one or both the ovaries, which has also spread outside the pelvis to tissues in the abdomen. It can also spread to the peritoneum or lymph nodes in the back part of the abdomen behind the peritoneum. It is further divided into 3A1 (i, ii), 3A2, 3B, and 3C.
Stage 4: Cancer has spread to areas far from pelvis and abdomen like in lungs, brain or skin or even other organs and distant lymph nodes. It is divided into 4A and 4B. The cancer grade is a rating of how much the cancer cells look like normal cells. The cancer grade describes how fast or slow the cancer will likely grow and spread. It is divided into grade 1, 2 and 3 with 1 being least aggressive and 3 most aggressive and likely to spread.
Dr. Monika and her team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. You maybe asked to discontinue some medications for a short time. You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. You will be given general anesthesia just before surgery. Surgery may take 3 or more hours to complete depending on how much tissue needs to be removed.
Complete recovery after surgery varies from person to person and extent of the surgery. You will need few days of hospitalization post surgery to recover. You may feel pain and tenderness in your abdomen and pelvis, which may last for a few weeks. Within few weeks, you may be able to return to normal activities.
Every surgery has risks and side effects. You should discuss the risk with your surgeon before opting for treatment plan. Common side effects of surgery include pain, leg swelling, trouble urinating and constipation. If you haven’t gone through menopause, then removal of both the ovaries can cause symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, mood changes, trouble sleeping,
vaginal dryness, weight gain and night sweats. Talk to your gynecologic oncologist to find ways to help you feel better.