Ovarian cancer has four stages, named one through four, that are determined according to the spread of the tumor. Initially, doctors carry out a physical examination of the body and patient history during diagnosis, as noted by the National Cancer Institute.
When the cancer is limited to one or both ovaries, it is classified as stage one. At this stage, the tumor has not caused extensive damage and treatment options may be varied.
When the cancer is limited to the pelvis area, it is considered as stage two. At this stage, the cancer may affect one or both ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
At stage three, the cancer has affected one or both ovaries, the fallopian tubes and other areas of the pelvic region. The cancer has also spread further into parts of the abdomen and lymph nodes.
At stage four, cancer has spread beyond the abdomen and affected the liver and other regions. Cancer cells may be found in fluids that surround the lungs. The cancer may also affect the groin and lymph nodes.
The two main options for treating ovarian cancer are chemotherapy and surgery, according to MedicineNet. Doctors consider a variety of factors, including the particular stage at which the disease has reached before settling on the best treatment option.