Stages and Grades of Uterine Cancer

Stage refers to the size and spread of the cancer. Your doctor uses any or all of these things to determine the stage of the cancer.

  • The biopsy

  • Results from other tests

  • Samples from your uterus if it is removed

The stage is based on factors such as these.

  • Size of the tumor

  • Number of lymph nodes involved

  • Whether the cancer has spread beyond the tumor where it started

If the tumor stays where it started, it’s called in situ or noninvasive. Cancer cells can break away from the main tumor and start growing in other parts of the body. If it spreads from where it started, it’s called invasive or infiltrating.

The process of cancer spreading is called metastasis. Although the cancer has spread to another part of the body, it’s not considered a new cancer. For instance, uterine cancer might spread to the lungs. That is not considered lung cancer. It’s called metastatic uterine cancer. 

Uterine cancer that has not spread is called early-stage uterine cancer. Uterine cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is often called advanced-stage uterine cancer.

Grade describes what the cancer cells look like. The grade is used to find out how fast the cells may grow or spread. Your doctor uses the biopsy and samples of your uterus if it is removed to find the grade of cancer.


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