Colorectal Cancer


Finding Out How Far Cancer Has Progressed

If the diagnosis is cancer, the doctor needs to learn the stage -- or extent -- of the disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body. More tests may be performed to help determine the stage. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment. There are four stages used to describe colorectal cancer.

Stages of Colorectal Cancer

Here are the stages of colorectal cancer:

Most patients with stage 0, I, II, or III cancers can undergo treatment with the hope of a cure. Colorectal cancer rarely occurs again after 5 years, so most patients who live 5 years are considered cured. Most stage IV cancers cannot be cured, although treatment may be available to help extend life.