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What Is Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer?

By Kristeen Moore
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Stage 2 ovarian cancer is classified as a cancer that has spread through a woman’s pelvis from the ovaries. For example, a stage 2 ovarian cancer patient might have malignant cells in her uterus. This stage of ovarian cancer usually starts on the outer ovaries, although some women have malignant tumors within ovarian tissues. Stage 2 ovarian cancer is treatable and is two stages away from the most severe type of ovarian cancer.

Many stage 2 ovarian cancers consist of epithelial tumors. These tumors grow on the outside of the ovaries and quickly multiply. Other types of ovarian cancers start from egg tissues, but these generally are less common. Women have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer if they have a family history of the cancer.

After cancer cells have spread throughout the pelvis, ovarian cancer usually is more difficult to treat. Stage 1 ovarian cancer generally is not as difficult to cure, because the cells are confined to the ovaries. Some women do not receive a diagnosis until they have reached stage 2, when the symptoms are sometimes more prevalent. The symptoms might include persistent abdominal pain, frequent nausea, increased urination and lower back pain. Not all women experience the same symptoms, and some might be more severe than others.

Symptoms usually are diagnosed by a gynecologist with three types of tests. These include a pelvic ultrasound, a physical exam and a blood test that specifically looks for ovarian cancer cells. There sometimes is a misconception that a pap smear test can detect ovarian cancer; pap tests detect cervical cancer. Ovarian cancer can be caught early by paying attention to unusual symptoms within the pelvic area.

This type of cancer usually is treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. A patient’s ovaries, uterus, lymph nodes and fallopian tubes generally are removed during stage 2. As a precaution, the oncologist might recommend chemotherapy as a way to destroy any cancer cells that might have been left behind after surgery.

Stage 2 is the second phase of ovarian cancer. During stage 3 ovarian cancer, malignant cells spread outside of the pelvis and through abdominal lymph nodes. Stage 4 is classified as ovarian cancer cells spreading to major organs. Ovarian cancer that is in stage 2 is extremely dangerous, but the chances of survival for women who have stage 2 ovarian cancer are better than those who have stage 3 or stage 4 ovarian cancer. Some studies suggest that having children or taking oral contraceptives at some point during a woman's lifetime might reduce her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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