Determining the stage of the cancer is a very important step; it helps your oncologist to determine the type of treatment to use to better fight the disease. In addition, the cancer stage at the diagnosis plays a major role in your survival chance. In general, colorectal cancer includes the following stages:
- carcinoma in situ – also known as stage 0, carcinoma in situ indicates the genesis of the cancer; it is still in the inner layer of the colon or rectum;
- Stage I – at stage I, the tumor has affected the mucosa of the colon or rectum, but has not yet spread beyond the colorectal wall.
- Stage II – the tumor has spread from the colorectal mucous into the wall of the colon or rectum without reaching the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage III – a stage 3 colorectal cancer has affected the inner layer of the colorectal tissue, colorectal wall and the nearby lymph nodes; however, the tumor has not affected distant parts of the body.
- Stage IV – in this last stage, the cancer has spread to other organs of your body, such as liver, lungs, or ovary.
- Recurrent – a cancer that has returned after treatment is considered as a recurrent cancer. In general, recurrent colorectal cancers are more difficult to be treated; your survival chance is lower. To prevent recurrent cancer, after treatment, it is important that you respect your doctor’s appointments, adopt a healthy lifestyle and consume a healthy diet.