What Does it Really Mean?
Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer is the most advanced form of this disease. In this stage ovarian cancer cells have metastasized and spread to other organs of the body such as the liver or lungs.
Together with Stage 3, these are known as the advanced ovarian stages.
See the image below for a detailed view of what Stage 4 looks like:
In the later stages of ovarian cancer, in particular stage 4 given the fact that prognosis is poorest for this stage, cytoreduction becomes crucial in those patients where it is technically feasible. If the procedure is performed “optimally” the prognosis for these patients can improve significantly and survival rates start to approach those of stage 3 cancer.
The procedure involves removing as much of the cancer as possible before patients undergo chemotherapy, to give the drugs the best chance of working by reducing the number of cells the chemotherapy has to kill. So it is important to ensure that the surgeon performing the procedure is experienced enough to achieve the best result possible.