Rectal Cancer Stages
If the biopsy shows that cancer is present, your doctor will perform tests to find out the extent (stage) of the disease and plan the best treatment. The stage is based on whether the tumor has invaded nearby tissues, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body.
Sometimes staging is not complete until after surgery to remove the tumor. Doctors describe colorectal cancer by the following stages:
The cancer is found only in the innermost lining of the rectum. Carcinoma in situ is another name for Stage 0 colorectal cancer.
The tumor has grown into the inner wall of the rectum. The tumor has not grown through the wall.
The tumor extends more deeply into or through the wall of the rectum. It may have invaded nearby tissue, but cancer cells have not spread to the lymph nodes.
The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but not to other parts of the body.
The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs.
This is cancer that has been treated and has returned after a period of time when the cancer could not be detected. The disease may return in the rectum, or in another part of the body.
PN 1002268 Rev A 04/2013
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