Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries, the reproductive organs in women where eggs are produced. Women with ovarian cancer often develop symptoms after the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, so it can be difficult to diagnose before it reaches the third developmental stage.
By the stage 3 of ovarian cancer, cancer has often spread to the ovaries, abdominal lining and lymph nodes, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
According to the ACS, 34 to 45 percent of women who suffered from invasive epithelial ovarian cancer between 1988 and 2001 survived five years or more after being diagnosed. The organization states that 84 percent of women diagnosed with germ cell tumors during that time survived five years or more.
Women with stage 3 ovarian cancer often experience symptoms such as pain in their abdomen, pelvis or back; a frequent need to urinate; an increase in abdomen size; painful sensations during sex; nausea and/or gas; diarrhea or constipation and fatigue.
Stage 3 growths often are not large enough to be seen without a microscope or imaging test, according to the ACS. Physicians perform computerized tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging tests to look for cancer cells; sometimes they remove tissue samples from the abdomen to examine for cancerous cells.
Women with stage 3 ovarian cancer often need to undergo a surgical procedure to remove their ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and lymph nodes. After surgery, most women need to undergo chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells.