Skip to content

Colorectal Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Stage I Rectal Cancer

    Stage I tumors extend beneath the mucosa into the submucosa (T1) or into, but not through, the bowel muscle wall (T2). Because of its localized nature at presentation, stage I has a high cure rate.

    Treatment options:

    Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

    Description of the Evidence

    Background Incidence and mortality Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignant neoplasm worldwide [1] and the second leading cause of cancer deaths (irrespective of gender) in the United States.[2] It is estimated that there will be 142,820 new cases diagnosed in the United States in 2013 and 50,830 deaths due to this disease.[2] Between 2005 and 2009, CRC incidence rates in the United States declined by 4.1% per year among adults aged 50 years and older.[2] For the past...

    Read the Description of the Evidence article > >

    1. Wide surgical resection and anastomosis when an adequate low-anterior resection (LAR) can be performed with sufficient distal rectum to allow a conventional anastomosis or coloanal anastomosis.
    2. Wide surgical resection with abdominoperineal resection (APR) for lesions too distal to permit LAR.
    3. Local transanal or other resection [1,2] with or without perioperative external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT) plus fluorouracil (5-FU).

    There are three potential options for surgical resection in stage I rectal cancer: local excision, LAR, and APR. Local excision should be restricted to tumors confined to the rectal wall and that do not, on rectal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, involve the full thickness of the rectum (i.e., not a T3 tumor). The ideal candidate for local excision has a T1 tumor with well-to-moderate differentiation that occupies less than one-third of the circumference of the bowel wall. Local excision should only be applied to very select patients with T2 tumors, as there is a higher risk of local and systemic failure.

    For patients with T1 and T2 tumors, no randomized trials are available to compare local excision with or without postoperative chemoradiation to wide surgical resection (LAR and APR). Investigators with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) enrolled patients with T1 and T2 rectal adenocarcinomas that were within 10 cm of the dentate line and not more than 4 cm in diameter, and involving not more than 40% of the rectal circumference, onto a prospective protocol, CLB-8984. Patients with T1 tumors received no additional treatment following surgery, whereas patients with T2 tumors were treated with EBRT (54 Gy of 30 fractions, 5 days/week) and 5-FU (500 mg/m2 on days 1 through 2 and days 29 through 31 of radiation). At 48 months median follow-up, the 6-year failure-free survival and overall survival (OS) rates for patients with T1 tumors were 83% and 87%, respectively. For patients with T2 tumors, the 6-year failure-free survival and OS rates were 71% and 85%, respectively.[3]

      1|2

      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.
      bladder cancer x-ray
      Do you know the warning signs?
       
      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
       

      WebMD Special Sections