Skip to content

    Colorectal Cancer Health Center

    Select An Article

    Staging Colon and Rectal Cancer

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    After undergoing many tests, you have finally been given your diagnosis. But, what does it mean when your doctor says you have stage I colon cancer or stage III rectal cancer? The following information will help you understand your diagnosis better.

    Stages of Colorectal Cancer

    Colon and rectal cancer are staged according to how far they have spread through the walls of the colon and rectum and whether they have spread to other parts of the body. This staging process allows doctors to determine the best treatments for the particular cancer. It also allows them to determine if the cancer is getting better with treatment or not responding.

    Staging Colon Cancer

    Stage 0
    Stage 0 cancer of the colon is very early cancer. The cancer is found only in the innermost lining of the colon.

    Learn more about treatments for stage 0 colon cancer.

    Stage I
    The cancer has spread beyond the innermost lining of the colon to the second and third layers and involves the inside wall of the colon. The cancer has not spread to the outer wall of the colon or outside the colon.

    Learn more about treatments for stage I colon cancer.

    Stage II
    The tumor extends through the muscular wall of the colon, but there is no cancer in the lymph nodes (small structures that are found throughout the body that produce and store cells that fight infection).

    Learn more about treatments for stage II colon cancer.

    Stage III
    The cancer has spread outside the colon to one or more lymph nodes (small structures that are found throughout the body that produce and store cells that fight infection).

    Learn more about treatments for stage III colon cancer.

    Stage IV
    The cancer has spread outside the colon to other parts of the body, such as the liver or the lungs. The tumor can be any size and may or may not include affected lymph nodes (small structures that are found throughout the body that produce and store cells that fight infection).

    Learn more about treatments for stage IV colon cancer.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
    man with a doctor
    Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    doctor and patient
    Colorectal Cancer Therapy
     
    bread
    ARTICLE
    Colon vs Rectal Cancer
    VIDEO
     
    New Colorectal Treatments
    VIDEO
    can lack of sleep affect your immune system
    FEATURE
     
    Cancer Facts Quiz
    QUIZ
    Virtual Colonoscopy
    VIDEO
     
    Picture of the Colon
    ANATOMY
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW