Stages of Colon Cancer

 

Stage 0

Abnormal cells are found in the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon wall. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

Cancer has formed in the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon wall and has spread to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the colon wall.

Stage II-A

Cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the colon wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall.

Stage II-B

Cancer has spread through the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum).

Stage II-C

Cancer has spread through the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall to nearby organs.

Stage III-A

Cancer has spread:

  • through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the colon wall. Cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes; or
  • through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa). Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III-B

Cancer has spread:

  • through the muscle layer of the colon wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall or has spread through the serosa to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes; or
  • to the muscle layer or to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall. Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the colon wall. Cancer has spread to seven or more nearby lymph nodes.¬†

Stage III-C

Cancer has spread:

  • through the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the muscle layer of the colon wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall or has spread through the serosa to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to seven or more nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon wall to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes.

Stage IV-A

Cancer has spread to one area or organ that is not near the colon, such as the liver, lung, ovary, or a distant lymph node.

Stage IV-B

Cancer has spread to more than one area or organ that is not near the colon, such as the liver, lung, ovary, or a distant lymph node.

Stage IV-C

Cancer has spread to the tissue that lines the wall of the abdomen and may have spread to other areas or organs.

Stages of Rectal Cancer

 

Stage 0

Abnormal cells are found in the mucosa (innermost layer) of the rectum wall. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

Cancer has formed in the mucosa (innermost layer) of the rectum wall and has spread to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the rectum wall.

Stage II-A

Cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the rectum wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall.

Stage II-B

Cancer has spread through the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum).

Stage II-C

Cancer has spread through the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall to nearby organs.

Stage III-A

Cancer has spread:

  • ¬†through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the rectum wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the rectum wall. Cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes; or
  • through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the rectum wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa). Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III-B

Cancer has spread:

  • through the muscle layer of the rectum wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall or has spread through the serosa to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes; or
  • to the muscle layer or to the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall. Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the rectum wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue next to the mucosa) or to the muscle layer of the rectum wall. Cancer has spread to seven or more nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III-C

Cancer has spread:

  • through the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to four to six nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the muscle layer of the rectum wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall or has spread through the serosa to the tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum). Cancer has spread to seven or more nearby lymph nodes; or
  • through the serosa (outermost layer) of the rectum wall to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes or cancer cells have formed in tissue near the lymph nodes.

Stage IV-A

Cancer has spread to one area or organ that is not near the rectum, such as the liver, lung, ovary, or a distant lymph node.

Stage IV-B

Cancer has spread to more than one area or organ that is not near the rectum, such as the liver, lung, ovary, or a distant lymph node.

Stage IV-C

Cancer has spread to the tissue that lines the wall of the abdomen and may have spread to other areas or organs.

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