In Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer the cancer has spread outside of the pelvis into the abdominal area. This can include cancer that is found in:
3a: One or both ovaries and is grossly confined to the pelvis. Under the microscope cancer cells are found in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) or the omentum (a fatty layer covered by peritoneum which hangs over the intestines).
3b: One or both ovaries with confirmed implants of 2cm or less found on abdominal peritoneal surfaces.
3c: One or both ovaries with tumor growths larger than 2cm on peritoneal surfaces and/or cancer detected in lymph nodes in the upper abdomen, groin, or behind the uterus.
The majority of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at this stage.
See the picture below for details of what Stage 3 looks like:
The majority of ovarian cancers are diagnosed as stage 3. The peritoneal area is the most common site of spread for these cancers. Once the cancer is at this stage, treatment becomes more difficult, and this is demonstrated by the survival rates, which fall to about 20-40% 5-year survival, compared to up to 70% for stage 2.