Stages of Cervical Cancer
In order to find out how far the cervical cancer has spread, doctors will use a process called cervical cancer staging. The stages include stage 0, stage I, stage II, stage III, stage IV, and recurrent. Stages I-IV are also broken down into type A and B, based on the amount of cancer that is found.
After a woman has been diagnosed with cervical cancer, tests will be done to find out how far the cancer has spread within the cervix and other parts of the body. In order to identify how far the cancer has spread, doctors use a process called cervical cancer staging. Once the stage is known, doctors will be able to plan the best treatment.
The following tests may be used in the staging process of cervical cancer.
An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film. It creates a picture of areas inside the body. Doctors will perform a chest x-ray to make sure that the cervical cancer hasn't spread to other areas of the body.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. A computer that is linked to an x-ray machine creates these pictures. Doctors may also use a dye that is injected into a vein or swallowed by the person to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly on these pictures. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography (CAT). This can help determine the extent of the cervical cancer and whether it has spread.
A lymphangiogram is a procedure that is used to x-ray the lymph system. This procedure requires doctors to inject a dye into the lymph vessels in the feet. The dye will travel upward through the lymph nodes and lymph vessels, and an x-ray will be taken to see if there are any blockages. A lymphangiogram will show doctors if the cervical cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.