What Is Cervical Cancer?
The cervical cancer cells develop in the cervix, which is the lower portion of the uterus that attaches to the vagina. Most cervical cancers are brought on by different strains of the sexually transmitted infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the 10th most common cancer in women in Singapore. In this article, we discuss cervical cancer stages.
Cervical Cancer Stages
Staging characterises or categorises a malignancy based on the location and the extent of the cancer when it is first detected. This is sometimes referred to as cancer’s extent. Test results and examination results are used to determine the tumour’s size, the organ’s affected regions, whether the cancer has progressed beyond its original site, and the locations of any distant metastases. The stage is used by the doctor to plan your care and predict your prognosis.
The FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) staging system is the most popular staging method for cervical cancer. Four phases are present in cervical cancer. Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV are frequently used to denote stages 1 through 4. In general, the more advanced the stage, the more widely cancer has spread.
Doctors may use the terms local, regional, or distant when characterising the stage. Local refers to the cancer being contained to the cervix and not have spread to other body organs. Regional refers to areas around or surrounding the cervix, such as the pelvis or vagina. Distant refers to being outside of the pelvis and farther away from the cervix.
Stage IA – The cervix’s tumour can be seen under a microscope. The tumour is only 5 mm deep and 7 mm in diameter at its largest.
Stage IA1 – The tumour is only 3 mm deep and 7 mm in diameter at its largest.
Stage IA2 – The tumour is larger than 3 mm, however, it is not deeper than 5 mm or wider than 7 mm.
Stage IB – The cervix-located tumour is larger than a stage 1A tumour and can either be visible without a microscope or only under a microscope.
Stage IB1 – The tumour’s widest point is less than 4 cm.
Stage IB2 – The tumour’s widest point measures more than 4 cm.
Stage IIA – The tumour has spread outside the cervix and the uterus but hasn’t penetrated the pelvic or vaginal lower walls. Additionally, it hasn’t developed into tissues close to the uterus and cervix (called the parametria).
Stage IIA1 – The tumour’s widest point is less than 4 cm.
Stage IIA2 – The tumour’s widest point measures more than 4 cm.
Stage IIB – The tissues close to the cervix and uterus are where the tumour has spread from the cervix uterus. The tumour has not spread to the lower portion of the vagina or to the pelvic walls.
Stage IIIA – The tumour has spread into the lower vagina, but not to the pelvic walls.
Stage IIIB – The tumour has penetrated the pelvic walls, blocked a ureter (the tube that transports urine from the kidney to the bladder), increased kidney size (hydronephrosis), or affected the proper functioning of a kidney.
Stage IVA – The tumour has extended outside of the pelvis, into the bladder, or into the rectum.
Stage IVB – Cancer has metastasized to distant sites on the body, such as lymph nodes outside the pelvis, the lungs, the liver, or the bone (this is referred to as distant metastasis).
Cervical Cancer Stages Statistics In Singapore
The National Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019 indicates that the bulk of cervical cancer stages in Singapore are Stage I (36.5%) and Stage II (29.8%) cases for the period 2018-2019. However, this is a drop from the period 2003-2007 which saw 46% of cervical cancer incidences being diagnosed at Stage I and 26% at Stage II.
Stage I cervical cancer has very good 5-year survival rate about 80-90%. The survival rate drops as the stages advance. If discovered as Stage II cervical cancer, the survival rate can still be around 50-65%. However, if it is discovered late, the survival rates drop to 25-35% for Stage III and less than 15% for Stage IV.
Further Reading on Cervical Cancer
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.