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What does the letter after the stage mean?

Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

I forgot to ask my doctor. What does the letter after the stage mean? For example Stage IIIa or IIIc.

Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2012

It's the grade of the tumour

kansasgal's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: Aug 2009

Actually this website (American Cancer Society) has a good explanation of the various stages of ovarian cancer. The letter following the III indicates the depth and/or spread of the cancer, pointing out the location of any metastasis. The grade (aggressiveness/likelihood of recurrence) of the cancer is typically a number like 1, 2, 3. So your cancer might be staged at IIIc and be a grade 1.

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