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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


stage III ovarian epithelial, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer  listen  (... oh-VAYR-ee-un EH-pih-THEE-lee-ul fuh-LOH-pee-in ... PRY-mayr-ee PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul KAN-ser)

  Cancer is found in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes, or is primary peritoneal cancer, and has spread outside the pelvis to other parts of the abdomen and/or to nearby lymph nodes. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In stage IIIA, one of the following is true: (1) cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area outside or behind the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers organs in the abdomen) only; or (2) cancer cells that can be seen only with a microscope have spread to the surface of the peritoneum outside the pelvis. Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to the peritoneum outside the pelvis and the cancer in the peritoneum is 2 centimeters or smaller. Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes behind the peritoneum. In stage IIIC, cancer has spread to the peritoneum outside the pelvis and the cancer in the peritoneum is larger than 2 centimeters. Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes behind the peritoneum or to the surface of the liver or spleen.

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Stage IIIA ovarian cancer; drawing shows tumors inside both ovaries that have spread to the uterus, colon, and the surface of the peritoneum. Also shown are the fallopian tubes, small intestine, and bladder.
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Stage IIIB ovarian cancer; drawing shows tumors inside both ovaries that have spread to the uterus, colon, small intestine, and the peritoneum, where they are 2 centimeters or smaller in diameter. An inset shows 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut. Also shown are the fallopian tubes and bladder.
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Stage IIIC ovarian cancer; drawing shows tumors inside both ovaries that have spread to the uterus, colon, small intestine, lymph nodes in the abdomen, and the surface of the peritoneum, where they are larger than 2 centimeters in diameter. An inset shows 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut. Also shown are the fallopian tubes and bladder.