NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,812 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

stage III ovarian germ cell tumor
(...oh-VAYR-ee-un jerm sel TOO-mer)
Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread outside the pelvis to other parts of the abdomen and/or nearby lymph nodes. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In stage IIIA, the tumor is found in the pelvis only, but cancer cells that can be seen only with a microscope have spread to the surface of the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen), the small intestines, or the tissue that connects the small intestines to the wall of the abdomen. In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to the peritoneum and the cancer in the peritoneum is 2 centimeters or smaller. In stage IIIC, cancer has spread to the peritoneum and the cancer in the peritoneum is larger than 2 centimeters and/or has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen. Cancer that has spread to the surface of the liver is also considered stage III ovarian cancer.

EnlargeDrawing of stage IIIA shows cancer inside both ovaries that has spread to lymph nodes behind the peritoneum.  Also shown is microscopic cancer cells that have spread to the surface of the peritoneum. The small intestine, colon, fallopian tubes, uterus, and bladder are also shown.

In stage IIIA, cancer is found in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes and (a) cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area outside or behind the peritoneum only, or (b) 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.

EnlargeDrawing of stage IIIB shows cancer inside both ovaries that has spread to the peritoneum. The cancer in the peritoneum is 2 centimeters or smaller. An inset shows 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut. Also shown are the small intestine, colon,   fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder, and lymph nodes behind the peritoneum.

In stage IIIB, cancer is found in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes and 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.

EnlargeDrawing of stage IIIC shows cancer inside both ovaries that has spread to the peritoneum. The cancer in the peritoneum is larger than 2 centimeters. An inset shows 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut. Also shown are the small intestine, colon, fallopian tubes,  uterus, bladder, and lymph nodes behind the peritoneum.

In stage IIIC, cancer is found in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes and 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.