Cervical Cancer (cont.)
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If the biopsy shows that you have cancer, your doctor will need to learn the extent (stage) of the disease to help you choose the best treatment. The stage is based on whether the cancer has invaded nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Cervical cancer spreads most often to nearby tissues in the pelvis or to lymph nodes. It may also spread to the lungs, liver, or bones.
When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of cancer cells and the same name as the original tumor. For example, if cervical cancer spreads to the lungs, the cancer cells in the lungs are actually cervical cancer cells. The disease is metastatic cervical cancer, not lung cancer. It's treated as cervical cancer, not as lung cancer. Doctors sometimes call the new tumor in the lung "distant" disease.
Your doctor will do a pelvic exam, will feel for swollen lymph nodes, and may remove additional tissue. To learn the extent of disease, your doctor may order one or more tests:
The stage is based on where cancer is found. These are the stages of invasive cervical cancer:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/29/2012
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