Colorectal Cancer

You never want to hear that you have colon cancer. But the reality is that around 4% of men and women will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime. 

The treatment of colon cancer is most successful when caught early. And that’s why preventative screening is a crucial part of maintaining your digestive health.

This page will first discuss what colon cancer is. We’ll then outline the staging of colon cancer and the associated treatment. Lastly, we’ll discuss how to prevent colon cancer.

What Is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is cancer that originates in the colon. And rectal cancer is cancer that begins in the rectum. Collectively, these types of cancer describe colorectal cancer.

The colon is the longest part of the large intestine. This is where your body breaks down food and forms waste. Waste then moves through the colon and sits in the rectum until you’re ready to pass a bowel movement.

Usually, colorectal cancer grows slowly over many years. But in the later stages of the disease, it may spread to other parts of the body.

Staging of Colon Cancer

The staging of colon cancer ranges from stage 0 to stage 4 and describes how far it has spread. Staging can help doctors determine how best to treat this condition.

Stage 0

Stage 0 colon cancer is the earliest diagnosable stage. This stage of cancer grows on the inner lining of the colon and has not spread.

Stage 1

Stage 1 colon cancer spreads into the layers of the colon wall. This stage of cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes or distant parts of the body.

Stage 2

Stage 2 colon cancer spreads through the wall of the colon. Some types of stage 2 cancer may also spread to nearby tissues or organs. But this stage of cancer does not extend to the lymph nodes.

Stage 3

Stage 3 colon cancer spreads to nearby lymph nodes. This stage of cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body.

Stage 4

Stage 4 colon cancer spreads throughout the lymphatic system and may grow in distant parts of the body.