Staging and grading of fallopian tube cancer
The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its size and whether it has spread beyond its original area of the body.
The grade of a cancer describes how quickly the tumour is likely to grow.
Knowing the extent of the cancer and the grade helps the doctors to decide on the most appropriate treatment.
The following stages are used for cancer of the fallopian tube:
- Stage 1: Cancer is limited to one or both fallopian tubes.
- Stage 2: Cancer is found in one or both fallopian tubes and/or has spread to other organs in the pelvis such as the uterus, ovaries, bladder and bowel.
- Stage 3: Cancer is found in one or both fallopian tubes and has spread outside the pelvis to other organs in the abdomen (such as the intestines) or to lymph nodes in the abdomen.
- Stage 4: Cancer is found in one or both fallopian tubes and has spread outside the abdomen or has spread to inside the liver.
- Recurrent: If the cancer comes back after initial treatment, this is known as recurrent cancer. Fallopian tube cancer may come back in the fallopian tubes or in another part of the body.
A pathologist will use tests on your cancer biopsy to ‘grade’ your cancer. Grade refers to the extent of similarity of cancer cells to normal cells. Low-grade tumours tend to grow more slowly, whereas high-grade tumours grow faster and spread more quickly.