Symptoms of an illness or disease are your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. The most common symptoms of Colon Cancer to be aware of are:

  • Blood in your stool or bleeding from your rectum — Any amount or color of bleeding can be an early sign
  • A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation or narrow stools.
  • Jaundice (a yellow or green coloring of the skin and the white part of the eye).
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • An ongoing bloated feeling, cramping or pain in your abdomen.
  • Constant tiredness and weakness.
  • A feeling that doesn’t subside that you need to have a bowel movement, even after you’ve gone to the bathroom.

Colorectal Cancer , which is also identified with Colon Cancer, starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system.

Colorectal Cancer is described clinically by the stages at which it is discovered. The stage of a cancer describes the extent of the cancer in the body. The stage is one of the most important factors in deciding how to treat the cancer and determining how successful treatment might be. For Colorectal Cancer, the stage is based on:

  • How far the cancer has grown into the wall of the intestine
  • If it has reached nearby structures
  • If it has spread to the nearby lymph nodes or to distant organs

The stage of colorectal cancer is based on the results of physical exams, biopsies, and imaging tests

Below is a description of the stages of Colorectal Cancer and the treatment options.

Stage 0

For cancers that are stage 0 — also known as carcinoma in situ—the disease remains within the lining of the colon or rectum. Therefore, removal of the cancer, either by polypectomy via colonoscopy or by surgery if the lesion is too large, may be all that is required for treatment.

Stage 1

Stage 1 Colorectal Cancers have grown into the wall of the intestine but have not spread beyond its muscular coat. The standard treatment of a stage 1 colon cancer is usually a colon resection alone, in which the affected part of the colon and its lymph nodes are removed. The type of surgery used to treat a rectal cancer is dependent upon its location, but includes a low anterior resection or an abdominoperineal resection, which are described in other patient information forms.

Stage 2

A stage 2 the symptoms of Colon Cancer become more pronounced as the cancer has penetrated beyond the muscular layers of the large intestine (stage 2B) and even spread into adjacent tissue (stage 2C). However, it has not yet reached the lymph nodes. Usually the only treatment for this stage of colon cancer is a surgical resection, although chemotherapy after surgery may be added. For a stage 2 rectal cancer, a surgical resection is sometimes preceded or followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Stage 3

A stage 3 Colorectal Cancer is considered an advanced stage of cancer as the disease has spread to the lymph nodes. For a Colon Cancer, surgery is usually done first, followed by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy and radiation may precede or follow surgery for a stage 3 rectal cancer.

Stage 4

For patients with stage 4 Colorectal Cancer, the disease has spread (metastasized) to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, or ovaries. When the cancer has reached this stage, surgery is generally used for relieving or preventing complications as opposed to curing the patient of the disease.

If you’d like to learn more Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer treatment options, please contact us and we will assist you as soon as possible.