FIGO (International Federation of
Gynecology and Obstetrics) stage is cancer’s
stage that describes how far cancer has
spread when the patient is being diagnosed for the first time. Staging is based
on the results of doctor’s examinations such as palpation, colposcopy,
hysteroscopy, and cystoscopy (Kesic, 2006) and it is not based on the results
of surgery. Apart from that, blood tests are also taken to determine how far the cancer has spread.
Tumor is a term which
normally refers to mass. According to
Stephens et al. (2009), there are two ways in which tumors can grow into: a benign or malignant. Benign tumor is a non-cancerous tumor and it usually grows slowly and appears to be
under control. The tumor will stop or slows once it reaches a certain size.
However, benign tumors will become a problem if it becomes very large
and spread to other body organs. On the other side, malignant tumors are
cancerous growth which means it is made
up of cancer cells and grows faster compared to benign tumors. Once it harms
surrounding tissue, that is when malignant tumor will become dangerous.
According to a study conducted by Sevin
et al. (1995), the outcome for tumor size is
the most complicated to compare with other reports due to different type of measurements used. There are
several clinical measurements widely used which are palpation, ultrasonography,
scanning, etc. Pathologic measurement is the other method for measuring the
tumor size which incorporates the surface
dimension and maximal lateral extension that mostly depends on the individual laboratories’
technique of measuring. Nevertheless, Sedlis et al. (1999) said that measuring
tumor diameter using palpation method is said to be more inaccurate than direct
measurement of the deepness of the
FIGO stages consist of 4 main stages
which are then divided into sub-stages (Freeman et al., 2012):
Stage I: In this stage, the cancer has been strictly confined to the
cervix, but it does not yet reach outside the uterus.
Stage IA: The cancer can only be identified under a
microscope since it is still small.
IA1: The cancer is less than 3mm in depth and lower
than 7mm in diameter.
Stage IA2: Size of the cancer is more than 3mm, but it is
not larger than 5mm in depth and the diameter is not wider than 7mm.
Stage IB: At this stage, biopsy on the visible wound is
compulsory to confirm the diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Stage IB1: The cancer is visible but it is no greater than
4cm in size.
Stage IB2: Size of the cancer is larger than 4cm.
Stage II: The cancer has spread upon the cervix but not
yet spread into pelvic walls. It has also spread to the vagina but not to the
Stage IIA: No sign of parametrial involvement but it may
have spread up to the upper part of the vagina.
Stage IIB: A sign of parametrial involvement but the cancer does not spread into pelvic
Stage III: The cancer has extended into the lower third of
the vagina and also has extended into the pelvic sidewall. It may block the uterus. A case of non-functioning kidney is an example of Stage III cancer.
Stage IIIA: A cancer involvement in the lower third of
vagina but not into the pelvic sidewall.
Stage IIIB: The cancer
extends into the pelvic sidewall and/or has blocked one or both utterers
causing hydronephrosis (kidney problems) or non-functioning kidney.