Like certain other cancers that remain asymptomatic until they have progressed significantly, ovarian cancer is known to be something of a silent killer. Very often, ovarian cancer stage 3 will have been reached before diagnosis of the disease is made and treatment is started.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers; the main reason being vague symptoms and late detection. Since this kind of cancer is often very advanced before detection the symptoms of ovarian cancer stage 3 are important to know, as indeed are the earlier and later symptoms of the disease.
The early symptoms of ovarian cancer (Stages 1 and 2)
In stage one of the cancer, a woman may feel no symptoms at all or she may feel some pain in the lower portion of the abdomen and some amount of bloating.
However since lower abdominal pain is so commonly experienced by women (during the monthly period each month) as well as for a host of other conditions, much attention may not be paid to this. At this stage the cancer is restricted to the ovaries.
At stage 2 the nearby organs are affected and symptoms may include pain, bloating, painful intercourse, constipation, menstrual problems and so on.
In ovarian cancer stage 3 the cancer would have migrated to areas beyond the pelvic region, and metastases may be seen in the peritoneum and lymph nodes and even further.
The symptoms of stage 2 such as abdominal and back pain will continue. Constipation and irregular periods are also other symptoms women will experience. Also there could be pain during urination and chronic constipation by now.
In stage 4 of ovarian cancer, the cancer will likely have spread to both ovaries as well as distant organs such as the lungs, liver and so on. Women typically feel very unwell, unable to eat properly and even experience breathing difficulties.
Ovarian cancer stage 3 Prognosis
Ovarian cancer overall has a poor prognosis and is known to be more lethal that the other types of cancers of the female reproductive system. This is mainly because the diagnosis of the cancer is able to be done only at a more advanced stage of the disease and prognosis is closely linked to the stage of detection.
The treatment for ovarian cancer is aggressive debulking which is followed by chemotherapy. In some cases radiotherapy may also be used. If the tumor is well differentiated and restricted to the ovary, it may be enough to take only surgical treatment. However for more aggressive tumors, chemo is also required.
If the cancer is detected in the first stage (which it rarely is) the 5 year survival rate may be between 60 and 100% depending upon the type of the cancer and its grade. The stage 2 five year survival rate is about 60 to 90%.
The prognosis of ovarian cancer stage 3 is poor, with the five year survival rate being between 20 and 50%. This gets progressively worse the more the cancer develops and during stage 4 the 5 year survival rate drops to as low as 10 to 25%.